Twenty years ago, I moved back home to Cleveland from New Orleans. I always think about New Orleans during Carnival season, which leads up to Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) next week.
Cleveland has nothing like the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, but I’ve noticed since returning home that the area observes the holiday more than when I was growing up here. Paczkis are a longstanding Cleveland Fat Tuesday tradition, but local stores and bakeries also are selling king cakes, the signature dessert of Carnival season. A restaurant I visited this week had a special Mardi Gras menu, and local bars get in on the celebration as well.
Tomorrow night in Tremont, there’s a free event to launch a new book about Fat Tuesday. Visible Voice Books is marking the release of “Mardi Gras in Kodachrome” by Charles Cassady Jr. and Mary Lynn Randall. The book contains photographs from Mardi Gras in New Orleans between 1950 and 1960 that haven’t been published before. Ruth Ketcham, Randall’s grandmother, shot the photos.
The event starts at 7:30 and will include a book signing. And since Visible Voice sells beer and wine (along with coffee and baked goods), the book launch could count as a Carnival party, too.