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Five reasons to love Rubonia Mardi Gras

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    Food

    Arguably, the best part of any festival is the food. Everything is fried, greasy, sweet or salty. The only thing that makes the food at Rubonia Mardi Gras different — and better — is the soul. There is no shortage of soul food — fall-off-the-bone ribs, smoked pork and well-seasoned collard greens with turkey neck bones.

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    Booze

    It may not be New Orleans, but Rubonia’s Mardi Gras is still a party. And what’s a party without booze and lots of it. One great thing about this local celebration is that alcohol is plentiful and cheap. Whether it’s cheap beer from a local convenience store, a beverage you buy to wash down your pulled pork sandwich or the vodka in a plastic cup poured by a Rubonia resident, you’re only going to spend a few bucks.

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    Beads

    It wouldn’t be a Mardi Gras celebration if cheap, plastic beads of assorted colors weren’t chucked from floats and hung around your neck. Beware: there may be pushing and shoving if your neighbors have their eyes set on a particular string of beads. As a bonus, expect crazy hats and costumes.

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    Entertainment

    In addition to the much-anticipated parade, the Mardi Gras celebration provides other festivities. From music — including the popular party dance tunes “Cupid Shuffle” and “Cha Cha Slide” — to clowns to inflatable bounce houses and bungee-jumping stations, the celebration offers activities that appeal to all types of people in attendance.

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    Fundraiser

    While you may be partying for pure enjoyment, it doesn’t hurt to know that your efforts are helping the local community. A $2 donation is recommended for entry. Money raised at the event will go to improvements at the Rubonia Community Center, 1309 72nd St. East. The center, which has faced budget issues, offers a variety of programs — including after-school activities, book clubs, health classes and a meeting place for groups.

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    Interested?

    Thousands of people are expected to attend the Rubonia Mardi Gras, which runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.  Officially speaking, the main attraction is the parade that starts at 2 p.m. -- but, really, it's all about the party.

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