Sherman’s Mardi Gras celebration will look a little bit different this year, but organizers are still expecting the good times to roll in downtown on Saturday.

Sherman’s Mardi Gras celebration will look a little bit different this year, but organizers are still expecting the good times to roll in downtown on Saturday.


After pulling off celebrations that brought the traditional Louisiana festival to Sherman’s downtown area in each of the last two years, Downtown Sherman Preservation and Revitalization decided to bypass the Red River Mardi Gras and Jazz Festival this year to focus on a craft beer tasting event it has planned for April. However, the merchants in Downtown Sherman didn’t want to miss their chance to hand out beads and celebrate cajun culture, so they’re hosting a Mardi Gras Bead Crawl Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.


"The weather for Mardi Gras is just too dicey in North Texas," Old Iron Post’s Sherry Little said. "So a lot of us (downtown business owners) thought it would be fun to continue the idea of celebrating Mardi Gras, but do so inside the various businesses."


Little said as work progressed on the event with DSP&R, they found out the Sherman Jazz Museum had already booked the N’Awlins Gumbo Kings band to play on Jan. 30, so they decided to make that the date of the celebration. Visitors to downtown will be able to collect beads from participating merchants, get shopping discounts and enjoy live music and cajun-themed food and drinks from the more than 30 businesses participating.


"Almost all of the downtown restaurants are participating in one way or another," Little said. "We’ve ended up with eight places that are providing music at various times during the day, and then a lot of restaurants are adding cajun-inspired items to their menus."


In addition to the N’Awlins Gumbo Kings, there will be live music performances at Bean Me Up Coffeehouse & Cafe from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Glitzy Girlz from noon to 4 p.m., 903 Brewers from noon to 5 p.m., Knight Furniture & Mattress from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Bella Fontana Wellness Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Fulbelli’s Piano Lounge from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Old Iron Post from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.


"It’s just been wonderful to see how enthusiastic they are and they’re working so hard," DSP&R Executive Director Karen Tooley said of the downtown merchants. "It’s going to be a great event and it’s very kid friendly."


Attendees will also be able to take part in free activities on Saturday such as a Mardi Gras mask-making station at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., crafting fun for kids at Sophia’s Storyland Adventure from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and henna tattoos at Bella Fontana Wellness Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., as well as a three-day scavenger hunt with more than 90 prizes.


"What’s going to happen is clues will be posted every half hour between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday," Little said of the event’s Facebook page. "The clue will send you to a business and if you’re the first person to get there, you’ll win the prize for that clue. And that prize won’t be for the business you go in, it’ll be for some other business downtown. There’s a lot of great prizes — anything from gift certificates to discounts to products. There’s only one winner for each clue, so you’ve got to be on your game and paying attention."


Downtown merchants will be distributing maps of all events and locations participating later this week.


"I would encourage people to come out and enjoy the day — it looks like the weather’s going to be perfect," Little said. "We’re just looking forward to a really fun day in downtown Sherman and some great music and food and seeing a lot of people."