This weekend you can kick off the Mardi Gras spirit a little early, Findlay Market style. The Market is getting their Fat Tuesday on this Sunday with the 4th Annual Mardi Gras Merchant Spirit Contest. The event will feature competitions among the merchants of Findlay Market for most creative stand decoration, costumes, and overall spirit of the Mardi Gras.
The panel of judges (Eric Vosmeier and Alexandra Kesman from the Know Theatre and Ballet Tech's Marvel Gentry Davis) will pick the first and second place winning stands. The first place winner walks away with $200, a Mardi Gras trophy, and tickets to the Know Theatre. Second place will receive $100. The winners of the stand contest will be announced at 11:30 am, just before the crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen. This will happen at the Market tent across from Market Wines.
There will also be live music from several bands, a Mardi Gras Parade, beer, face painting, and a low-land seafood boil sampling starting at 12:30pm. Taste of Belgium will also be getting into the Mardi Gras spirit with a special set of savory Shrimp & Grit Waffles available this weekend only - creating a truly unique Cajun-Belgian experience.
"We incorporate sharp cheddar, coarse corn grits and loads of cayenne pepper into our waffle dough," said Taste of Belgium owner Jean-Fracois Flechet. "We then top the waffle with cocktail shrimps sauteed in olive, garlic and white wine and freshly chopped green onions and cilantro to cool you down."
The 'Cajun waffles' will be available on Saturday and Sunday for $6.50, and will can also be purchased in packs of four for just $14. Due to limited supply, those interested in purchasing more than a few grits waffles are instructed to call the store ahead of time at (51) 381-3280 due to limited supply.
Mardi Gras at the Market is this Sunday, February 14 from 10am to 4pm. Findlay Market (map) is open year-round Tuesday through Sunday. Even if there's snow on the ground, Findlay will still be open (barring a level 3 snow emergency). There's plenty of free off-street bicycle and automobile parking and is easily accessible via Metro bus routes 46, 64, 78, 6, and 17 (plan your trip now).
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!