Starting as a celebration to jazz and the New Orleans-based cultural festival, the Sherman 2018 Mardi Gras festival brought area residents to downtown Saturday for more than music. Patrons shopping downtown also received beads as part of Sherman Main Street’s annual bead crawl.

Shoppers were given a BINGO card that they could black out to win prizes provide by the Main Street committee.

While downtown customers shopped Saturday, the Rodney Booth and the Dixieland Band performed at the Sherman Jazz Museum.

“Jazz music is an American art form,” museum owner Bill Collins III said. “It is our music. The problem is that we do not know enough about our music, about our own history. This is a history music. It’s an American history music and we need to learn about our history. It is one thing to read books. It is another to see it live. That is why we wanted to have live performances.”

Collins said that Saturday’s cold weather did not keep people away. He said that he saw just as many people as he has seen in previous years.

“When you have a good quality product, people come out,” he said. “The thing about jazz is that every performance is new. You can listen to a performance today and then see the same band perform tomorrow and it will be different. Every day is like a world premiere because of the solos. That is what is unique about jazz.”

Sandie Baigi and Gloria Beck took in the performance at the Sherman Jazz Museum. They went to downtown Saturday because they enjoy jazz and wanted to do a little shopping.

Bill and Andrea Mory said that they have not had a lot of opportunities to listen to live jazz music.

“This is a jewel in the rough,” Andrea Mory said. “Everyone should know about this and take advantage of it because it is in our backyard.”

Touch of Class Antique Mall had king cake and other refreshments for those that braved the cold to make it into the shop.

“We have had a lot of people wanting to get involved and have a little fun,” Touch of Class owner Jeanette Mayhugh said. “When you walk into the same spots, there is always something different. There is a lot of fun stuff around here.”

The bead crawl was just to get people out, Mayhugh said. She hoped that once people come once, they will want to come back to downtown again.

“The idea of how lively it is downtown and what has changed downtown should bring people here,” she said. “Boy’s getting more active everyday. People love our restaurants and the businesses stay open later some days. It is all positive and we want people to know that.”

Glitzy Girlz Boutique owner Felicia Herron agreed that Mardi Gras in Sherman was all about this community supporting small businesses.

“This is about getting together as a community,” she said about why Glitzy Girlz has participated in Sherman’s Mardi Gras celebration for the last three years. “We want to bring people to downtown and know that downtown is not dead. We want to lose that perception. We are a family here. We have gotten together and want to pull things off.”