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A twist on Courir Du Mardi Gras helps to feed the hungry

By Staff
BEADS FOR CANS Suzie Sulkowski trades canned goods for beads with Chris Young in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse during the Courir Du Mardi Gras. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 2, 2002
A masked horseman throwing beads led a noon-hour procession through downtown Meridian Friday to collect money and food in the spirit of Courir Du Mardi Gras.
Also called a "gumbo run" the Cajun Mardi Gras tradition sees masked, costumed, horseback riders go from house-to-house in rural areas asking for chicken, rice, sausage and other ingredients for gumbo.
In Meridian, the task was performed to collect donations and canned goods for Love's Kitchen, a local charity that feeds more than 250 people a day.
People associated with Love's Kitchen, the Lauderdale County Tourism Commission and the Greater Meridian Jaycees made up the group that went to the collection points at Union Station, the Lauderdale County Courthouse, City Hall and Dumont Plaza.
The same was done last year in conjunction with the first local Mardi Gras celebration, sponsored by businesses and local organizations.
Ruth Vinson Irwin, a board of directors member of Love's Kitchen, said the timing is perfect.
Both Irwin and Sandy Bynum, executive director of the Lauderdale County Tourism Commission, said they would like to see the event expand next year, hopefully with the involvement of area schools.