Winter weather won't stop Sherman's Mardi Gras celebrations

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Crowds of revelers gather outside Old Iron Post in downtown Sherman for Mardi Gras in this file photo from 2017. Organizers plan to move forward with the annual event this weekend in spite of expected freezing temperatures.

Freezing temperatures and winter weather will not keep downtown Sherman from partying this weekend during its annual Mardi Gras celebrations.

Organizers said the event will continue to go on as scheduled despite the threat of cold weather and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"With Mardi Gras, it is always during a time of the year when the weather is an element to consider," Sherman Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said this week. "It will be a cold one, so we just recommend that people bundle up. We will have a lot of things going in businesses downtown to keep you warm."

This year's festivities will be different than in previous years due in part to the ongoing pandemic. The Sherman Jazz Museum will be closed, but the site instead will be sponsoring live music at Old Iron Post throughout the day.

The event was originally planned to feature outdoor activities including live music outside downtown retailers. However, everything has been moved indoors because of the weather.

McRae said organizers have always kept the February weather in mind when planning the event. Unfortunately this year, those plans will need to be put in place.

Forecasts for Saturday call for a wintry chill, with temperatures only rising into the mid-20s. Sherman should get a slight reprieve from other winter weather, which will remain until at least midweek.

"Many people do seem ready to get out, but the weather does seem like it will be a factor," McRae said.

The event can still be done safely indoors and allow for social distancing due to the wide area  and multiple locations throughout downtown, McRae said. Rather than having one location with hundreds of revelers, McRae said there will be smaller groups throughout downtown.

In addition to Old Iron Post, many other businesses will also be participating and holding activities throughout downtown. These activities will be capped off by drawings for gift baskets filled with items donated from various shops around downtown. 

For each $10 spent in downtown businesses, shoppers will be given one entry into the drawing. McRae said organizers will also accept receipts from online shopping this year.

McRae said that she hopes downtown visitors will take the opportunity to visit many of the downtown businesses during the festivities. Events like the celebration are important to local businesses in what has been a difficult year for many merchants.

"They need you now more than ever," McRae said.