Ready for Mardi Gras in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT -- Bars and restaurants in downtown Williamsport are preparing for a big indoor party. It's Williamsport's annual Mardi Gras celebration. This is something the city has done for 22 years.

"There's live entertainment at all the venues around town. It should be a good weekend for it. I understand it's going to warm up at least a little bit this weekend," said Genetti Hotel manager Marc Schefsky.

Genetti Hotel is one of a dozen places celebrating Mardi Gras. The participating venues are within a four-block radius.

"Everybody just goes out and goes to the different restaurants and bars," Schefsky said.

A big part of the celebration is the food.

Stonehouse Wood Fired Pizza will feature the "Big Easy." It includes smoked andouille, blackened shrimp, and braised greens. There is also a gumbo cookoff between all the restaurants.

"Some people make it with chicken, some people make it with sausage. We've had a gator and different types of meats over the years," Schefsky added.

Mardi Gras is also a fundraiser. Some of the restaurants are raising money for the police and sheriff's departments in Williamsport.

"Police Safety Fund is for us to raise money to get the police back walking around at night. They cut the funding so they're not able to be on foot patrolling the area and obviously we like having them around," Brickyard manager Kyleigh Garbrick said.

Kyleigh Garbrick manages the Brickyard on Pine Street. They have a raffle to raise money.

"We have about 15 things on our raffle list. It's $5 for a ticket, and then you have a chance at winning everything."

Mardi Gras runs through Saturday night in downtown Williamsport.