New Orleans flavor

June 18th, 2015 10:26 am

First Posted: 2/16/2015

CLARKS SUMMIT — First Presbyterian Church celebrated Lent’s predecessor, Fat Tuesday, with a Mardi Gras worship service on Sunday, Feb. 15 during the Clarks Summit Festival of Ice.

Churchgoers were given beads of green, gold and purple (the colors of Mardi Gras) when they entered the church. Along with the choir, Rev. Bill Carter, who plays piano, performed Dixieland music with his group of friends, which include Ron Leas on trombone, Jeff Leas on trumpet, Al Hamme on clarinet, Tony Marino on bass and Tyler Dempsey on drums.

This is the church’s third year of the Mardi Gras worship service but the first time it was held during the Clarks Summit Festival of Ice.

“I enjoy the energy and sense of fun,” said Carter. “It comes with the best time of year when the weather is bleak.”

Carter and his friends performed New Orleans jazz songs such as “Dead Man Blues Part 1” and “Dead Man Blues Part 2,” both by Jelly Roll Morton.

The worship service concluded with them performing “When the Saints Go Marching In” as the parade hymn. The choir sang while the church members danced along the aisles of the pews, like a Mardi Gras parade. Some of them wore Mardi Gras masks and held parasols to replicate the New Orleans celebration.

Church members then proceeded to the auditorium for coffee and desserts, such as brownies and cupcakes topped with green, gold, and purple icing.

Although the weather was cold and windy, the Mardi Gras worship service had a decent turnout.

“It was a very good intro into Ash Wednesday,” said liturgist Char Lyon. “It has a great flavor of New Orleans.”