Lubbock Meals on Wheels hosted its 21st annual Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. All proceeds benefited Lubbock Meals on Wheels.
The event included music, food and activities such as a photo booth, a children's play area, a silent auction and a benefit drawing.
Mary Gerlach, Assistant Director of Lubbock Meals on Wheels, said there were over 30 restaurants at the event, and each brought a sample-size portion of a dish or treat.
"We've got everything out here there is: sweet, savory, Cajun, non-Cajun and slushies,” Gerlach said. “There is all kinds of food, and everybody just goes around and tries, as much as they want."
Gerlach said Mardi Gras is one of Lubbock Meals on Wheels’s largest fundraisers, and was open to the public.
Tickets were $45 for adults and $10 for children. Attendees were able to either buy their tickets online or at the door.
From KLBK, Nick Kraynok and Sasha Wilson were titled Mardi Gras King and Queen. They helped with the event activities such as booth judging, drawing for auctions and taking pictures.
"I did this last year; it was a lot of fun," Kraynok said. "The event gives back to folks that need the meals on wheels."
Kraynok said he used to deliver meals on wheels in West Virginia as a kid with his brother and mother.
"Being able to help out now, here in Lubbock, is awesome," Kraynok said.
Kraynok said the best thing about Meals on Wheels is being able to help people in the community and being the highlight of some people’s day.
"This is my first year to be a part of this event, and I am excited," Wilson said.
Wilson said the meals on wheels organization is a great cause, and this event is in support of the cause.
"Meals on Wheels is important because some people can't get out for a meal, but it is more than that; volunteering can turn into a friendship for these people, which is oftentimes just as important," Wilson said.
Kraynok said this event is not a New Orleans Mardi Gras, but it is the best Mardi Gras Lubbock has.
The Miller Girls is a Texas Tech service organization that helped at the Mardi Gras event.
Allie Garvelli, Miller Girls secretary, said many of the organization’s members wanted to contribute to the event.
"We're a part of a service organization with Texas Tech called Miller girls, so whenever they have this, we have tons of girls and sign up, so we can volunteer and help," Garvelli said.
Garvelli said the event is enjoyable because there are many businesses around Lubbock people may not know of.
"If you've never been to the festival, you should definitely come,” Garvelli said. “It's super fun.”
Kate Settle, Miller Girls treasurer, said having volunteers help run the event benefits Meals on Wheels overall.
"We volunteer, so Meals on Wheels does not have to hire anyone to help out, so that all the proceeds can go to the people who need meals on wheels," Settle said.