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Mardi Gras events set Saturday

Mardi Gras events set Saturday

Mardi Gras time has arrived in the Riverbend.

Saturday marks the return of “Wordi Gras,” Worden’s 15th annual redneck take on Mardi Gras that has grown to attract bus groups and overnight campers to the village of about 1,000 people. The all-ages parade steps off at 3 p.m. complete with floats and plenty of beads.

Starting at 11 a.m., food and merchandise vendors along Wall Street will feature fare ranging from barbeque to Cajun delights. Live music is planned well into the night at The Yellow Dog Café and Bar and the Worden American Legion.  

Granite City this year is also marking Mardi Gras with brand new events.

The city’s inaugural Mardi Gras parade is set for 1 p.m. followed by a Cajun Cookoff on Niedringhaus Avenue 2-5 p.m. with music by the American Originals. Kids can play games in Alligator Alley, guests can shop at local vendors, and a local bar crawl is planned 5-10 p.m.

For more information, email

Saturday also brings Mississippi Meanderings at 1 p.m. at the National Great Rivers Museum at Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton.

The Mississippi River Water Trail will host Perry Whitaker who will discuss his Mississippi River speed paddling attempt last year. Other topics include jumping river carp and the creation of Cahokia.

The event is limited to 50 people inside the museum, but will also be available via livestream on the internet.

Pere Marquette State Park also has informative programs this weekend, with Bald Eagle Days set 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

All programs start at the park’s visitor center at 8:30 a.m. with a short video presentation followed by an observational drive to view wintering bald eagles. Participants are urged to dress warmly and have a full tank of gas, binoculars, waterproof boots and snacks.

For more information or reservations, call 618-786-3323, Ext. 1 for reservations.

If you’re looking for something a little warmer, consider St. Andrew’s Book Fair Friday and Saturday at the Episcopal church at 406 Hillsboro Ave. in Edwardsville.

The event will feature more than 20,000 used books as well as DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, jigsaw puzzles and games.

Hours are 3-8 p.m. Friday, by reservation only, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. For reservations visit or call 618-656-1294.