A jester adorned in bright colors and jangling bells danced on Main Street in McCloud last Wednesday, calling out to those who could hear about the upcoming Mardi Gras celebration.

McCloud’s first Mardi Gras celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, and the jester will continue making appearances around town encouraging people to get in the spirit of Mardi Gras.

The Friends of the Old McCloud Courthouse, a group of local volunteers, is throwing a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras as a fundraiser for the refurbishment of the old courthouse building located on Quincy Ave. The building has two remaining jail cells from the turn of the century when it was in use.

The community volunteers say they hope to restore the courthouse to not only preserve the town’s history, but also so that it can be registered with the California Historical Society and turned into a public attraction.

An authentic Cajun food buffet, dancing to live Zydeco music from the band Gator Nation, a costume contest and raffles prizes are all part of the celebration, along with crowning a Mardi Gras King and Queen and a “Jail and Bail” game to help raise funds for the courthouse.

The King and Queen will be appointed through nominations at drop boxes found throughout McCloud during the month of February. People can vote as many times as they want for $1 each vote. Capes and crowns will mark the elected King and Queen on Mardi Gras night.

The “Jail and Bail” game consists of a virtual jail where “violators” will be placed for breaking McCloud laws, such as “driving through town and not waving” or “operating a snow-blower without a license.” Doubloons will be provided as a bail.

Costumes are strongly encouraged and – for those without the perfect addition to their outfits – masks, beads, and other accessories will be available for purchase at the Mercantile store through February or at the Axe and Rose Public House during Mardi Gras.

A limited number of tickets are available for the dinner and dance concert. Tickets for both are $30 per person. The Mardi Gras will be held on March 2, in the Axe and Rose Public House and Cascade Room at 408 Main Street. The buffet opens at 5 p.m. The dance is at 8 p.m. and will cost $10 at the door for drop-ins.

• Dawne-Brennei Love is a 16 year old homeschooled high school student residing in McCloud. She has been job-shadowing correspondent Shareen Strauss and interviewed her about the upcoming Mardi Gras event in McCloud. She said her goal was to both publicize the event and “gain further knowledge for a possible journalism career.”