Danberry celebrates Mardi Gras

“The goal of today’s Mardi Gras celebration is simply entertainment,” said Danberry at Inverness Executive Director Jaclyn Gardner. “We strive for balance in all our activities, social being an important part of this.”

The day was Fat Tuesday, which is what the French words Mardi Gras mean, or Shrove Tuesday in traditional English.

The American version dates back to the 1800s, beginning in Mobile.

The celebration, according to tradition, falls before Ash Wednesday, and refers to the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Now more guests arrived, most decked out in beads, some wearing masks. One handsome fellow wore a glittering tie.

A buffet table was laden with finger sandwiches, King Cake and other delectable eats by Chef Paul Seery.

Various libations flowed into stemware. Live music filled the ballroom, Cajun rhythms, New Orleans jazz and show tunes like “Moon River”.

The dance floor warmed with couples.

“Fifty guests are expected,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Sue Ruffing. “Our residents look forward to these events, and the community is invited by mailed flyers.”

This celebration culminated a competition intended to motivate residents to use Danberry’s fabulous facilities, thereby improving their overall health and vitality.

The premise of the event, called “Walk to New Orleans”, was for participants to earn “miles” by using fitness equipment, indoor pool and walking trails. Prizes were awarded.

The first place winner, having “walked” from Danberry to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans 3.5 times or 1,100 miles, was Jamie Kroeber, who received a gift card, accolades and applause for her efforts.

Kroeber’s improved health, as a result of her exercise, go unmeasured, though evident in her smiles and quick step to retrieve a prize.

The second place winner was Harry Vickers with 730 miles.

Third place went to Margie Varner with 550 miles.

The “Walk to New Orleans” event took six weeks.

Finally the musician played “Last Dance”, my cue to locate the exit door, but Danberry’s active and vibrant residents were still kicking up a celebration.

For information on this distinctively different retirement community, call 205-443-9500.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer@hotmail.com.