Ten years of anything is worth noting and better, celebrating along the Forgotten Coast. Apalachicola Mardi Gras, or the resurrection of the event as a primary fundraiser for the Franklin County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2.

A Golf Cart ($20 entry) and Pet Parade ($5 entry) will kick off the weekend on Friday, Feb. 1 from 5:30 to 6:30 starting at the Bowery down Commerce Street to the Courthouse and around Water Street to festivities a Riverfront Park. Food (Lucky dogs, gumbo and more) and drinks (soft, beer and wine) will begin at 3 p.m. in the Centennial Bank parking lot between the Consulate and Cotton Exchange. The Brian Bowen Band will perform from 6:30 until following the parade.

Come catch some beads, show off your decorated carts, parade your pets or just Bon Tiemp Roullez - - Let the Good Times Roll during downtown Apalachicola, Mardi Gras.

The traditional Mardi Gras Ball will be Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Coombs Armory from 6:30 for dinner (tickets $50 per person) or show only beginning at 7:30 (tickets $25 per person). More than 20 tables for six went fast last year with priority for Mardi Gras Sponsors @ $500 or $1000 (Two tables).

Dress is snazzy to jazzy, which means just about anything interesting with shoes and shirt that generally match. You’ll see some of Apalach decked out from tux to tie, glittering formal wear to shimmery dresses in the traditional gold, purple or greens of Mardi Gras. Masks are optional but encouraged. We’ll provide the beads.

Entertainment will be by the Dirty T-shirt Band, which fits perfectly with the dress code, and the crowd favorite Hot Flashes from Pam Nobles Dance studio. Trumpeteer “Don Juan” Fortner will lead the traditional Saints March for the 10th year and serenade tables with Sinatra to Santana. The Brian Bowen Band will play the dinner set during the Mardi Gras Ball.

If you’d like to donate an item for the silent auction please contact Caty Green at 653-3113.

Crowning of the 10th anniversary King Rex and Princess Pearl begins the show. They will be Ken and Kim Fish from Taylor’s Building Supply, 10-year supporters for every habitat home in Franklin County. The honors will be bestowed by reigning royalty Mason and Marilyn Bean and emceed by the Master or Jester of Ceremonies, depending on his hat, David Butler - all Mardi Gras veterans for the last decade.

All former King Rex and Princess Pearls will be invited to join the 10th Mardi Gras court and be recognized for their support of Habitat homes. They are:

2004 Rex & Cleo Parrington

2005 Frederick Humphrey & Cora Russ

2006 William Solburg & Candida Robertson

2007 Cliff & Denise Butler

2008 Max Brown & Ella Bond

2009 Jerry Hall & Dixie Parrington

2010 Danny & Marisa Itzkovitz

2011 Wayne Thomas & Mary Ann Durrer

2012 Mason & Marilyn Bean


Franklin Habitat is competing its fourth house in Eastpoint and has recently chosen the fifth family for the next build. Local banks Cadence and Centennial generously donated two lots in Magnolia Ridge, to build a family a home they could not afford without Habitat’s help. Important to note a Habitat home is a no-interest loan each family must back with reasonable monthly payments. Since the local chapter is all-volunteer, every dollar donated goes to build the next house and every dollar repaid by Habitat families is invested in another home.

We need to reach a goal of 10 Habitat homes as soon as possible so the equity monthly payments pay for half the next Habitat home. Then we have a better chance to reach our original goal of one Habitat home a year in Franklin County. We’re almost half way there. Help us all you can.

So come Bon Tiemp Roullez and let the Good Times Roll during the Apalachicola Mardi Gras Parade and Ball.

Habitat volunteers Don and Pamela Ashley are helping organize the Apalachicola Mardi Gras.