The spirit of Mardi Gras was alive in downtown Sherman Saturday as people gathered around the square for several events spread throughout the day.

Music, shopping and food were all on the menu downtown to celebrate the iconic festival. There were plenty of stores handing out beads as part of the festivities and several were offering authentic Cajun foods along with some themed beverages.

Sherman Tourism/Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said there was a good turnout with lots of people enjoying the activities.

“Everyone is so happy, they are all having a great time enjoying the afternoon with friends,” McRae said. “Several of the stops along the way have had free themed beverages. Everyone seems to be having a great time.”

McRae said the nice weather Sherman saw Saturday helped bring people out for the celebration. She said the turnout had been better than expected.

“All day long people have been walking in,” McRae said. “It is fun to see people come out this time of year. Especially when weather can be hit or miss. It is good to see people getting out to enjoy this nice day.”

She also commented how important these types of events are to the city’s downtown businesses.

“It’s great we can get all of our downtown businesses to participate,” McRae said. “Each one has such fun things going on. It’s exciting to see all the traffic downtown.

There was also live music offered throughout the day and evening. The first act was the N’Awlins Gumbo Kings performance at the Sherman Jazz Museum and then Dixieland Jazz performed at Old Iron Post.

McRae said it was the third year for the Sherman Main Street organization to put on the Mardi Gras festivities. She said the city tries to come up with games to attract people and this year participants had a chance to win gift baskets. In order to enter to win, customers who shopped the downtown businesses had to bring their receipts for a chance to be entered into the drawing.

A group of health care professionals who like to meet for lunch in Sherman once a month found the festivities a welcome surprise.

“It’s been a nice, fun atmosphere,” Jill Morris said. “Everyone is talking from one table to another. It’s not stuffy or snobby. We’re having a good time. We all work in the medical field. We didn’t expect to see this — it was a very fun surprise. We like the little square. It has been a lot of fun. Everyone has been talking to one another. The waiters have been friendly.”

Staff at Glitzy Girlz Boutique got in the spirit of the event by handing out free food and drinks along with beads to all their customers. Employee Holley Murphy said it was a fun day all around.

“We always participate in anything they have downtown,” Murphy said. “The more businesses involved in these activities, the better it is for everybody. Everyone has been coming in and out all day enjoying our little extras.”

She said the turnout at the store was good, even early in the morning as people had been coming in and out nonstop.