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Mardi Gras Party at St. John: A Wholesome Hurrah Before Lent

Chris Janik prepares to shoot more cups with rubber bands as his team looks on in excitement.
Chris Janik: Rubber band sharp shooter takes down two cups at once.

Cheers filled the air and the MPR buzzed with excitement last Tuesday as young and old gathered for our Mardi Gras party of feast and feats.

The feast portion of the evening did justice to the typical abundance of this holiday. Traditionally, the day or season preceding Lent has been a time to use up and indulge in the foods given up during Lent, things like fat, sugar, eggs, meat. Our menu featured a green, purple, and gold salad from Barbara Dresden; veggie and fruit trays from Nancy Janik; New Orleans inspired vegan red beans, rice, and bread from Kathy Reed; steak, peppers and noodles from Toni Lewis; two king cakes from Marie Cook; and green, purple, and gold macarons from Elaine Pearson. I tried my hand at a recipe Evan developed for creole braised short ribs.

After the meal, the feats began. Our roughly 30 attendees were divided into 3 teams. Their first challenge was to come up with a team name. Thus, Mellow Yellow, Party Gras, and the Shooting Sharks were born. The subsequent Minute To Win It style challenges were completed for points. Through the entire competition, the game was tight with ties and shifting leads. Our teams battled with skill, knowledge, and determination. Bouts included naming state capitals, stacking cups, ping pong and cup “basketball,” card tossing, rubber band shooting range, and more. In the end, the Party Gras team rose victorious over Mellow Yellow and the Shooting Sharks tied for second place.

Many thanks to our chefs, the decorating crew, and the cleanup crew! You made our event possible and special. Congratulations to our winners, may they enjoy the bragging rights they earned.

Click the image below to see more Mardi Gras Party photos.

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