MARDI GRAS: 3 days of meals, midway games and entertainment at Dickinson Trinity High SchoolJoan (Karsky) Sickler waited tables for the first Mardi Gras dinner when she attended Dickinson’s Trinity High School in the 1960s. She is among a handful of THS alumni who have volunteered every year since then. “The school has a place in my heart — I want to see it continue,” Sickler said.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Joan (Karsky) Sickler waited tables for the first Mardi Gras dinner when she attended Dickinson’s Trinity High School in the 1960s.
She is among a handful of THS alumni who have volunteered every year since then.
“The school has a place in my heart — I want to see it continue,” Sickler said.
The 48th annual Mardi Gras gets under way on Friday and concludes Sunday evening, Jan. 29. It is a fundraiser for the Dickinson Catholic Schools.
Sickler’s job is to make the gravy for the Sunday dinner. She credits the gravy’s success to a medley of spices and vegetables added to the broth.
During the 1990s, Sickler worked as a day chairwoman for each of the meals, and went on to serve as kitchen chairwoman.
She and her husband, Glen, sent their four daughters to the Dickinson Catholic Schools and now they have grandchildren attending.
“I help where they need me — I know the Mardi Gras inside out,” she said.
Tim Kelly was a first-grader at St. Patrick’s Elementary School when the first Mardi Gras started. Today, he and his wife, Nancy, serve as general chairmen.
“The fundraising part is very important, but more important, it pulls the Catholic community together,” Tim Kelly said. “The surrounding communities help support us, and it’s a nice break from the winter doldrums.”
Mardi Gras pulls people together for a common cause. Many of the same people, who are joined by newcomers, work in the kitchen and midway. They move snow or make the noodles, he said.
“It demonstrates the kind of young men and women that Trinity produces,” he said. “We see these kids waiting tables, working the midway and checking coats. The kids set up and tear down the midway. They realize it was their parents and grandparents who made the sacrifices to keep the system open, and now it’s their turn.”
Kelly gave credit to his wife, Nancy, for helping with the details.
“It’s becomes a family thing,” she added.
Scott and Jamie Kreitinger head up the midway.
“The kids love the candy wheel, cake walk and cork gun, Scott Kreitinger said. “The high school kids like to see who can throw the softball the fastest and the football toss.”
The adults have fun with Titan Downs — a racing game and the dice game, he added.
The committee relies on Dickinson Charities Bingo to manage the bingo games. The craft table and concession stand round out the Midway.
With the theme of “Celebrate the Good Times,” the midway will be decorated in Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and blue. Each of the booths has a business sponsor. Families are in charge of running a booth and decorating, Scott Kreitinger said.
Growing up at Golva, Kreitinger remembers attending the Mardi Gras. Moving to Dickinson, he saw the Mardi Gras as another way to get involved in the community.
This year’s Mardi Gras raffle has prizes valued at more than $31,000, said raffle chairman Kevin Weiler.
He and his wife, Linda, coordinate the committee that has arranged for the prizes. The grand prize is a 2012 Jeep Compass Latitude 4-by-4. Other prizes include a china hutch, flat-screen TV, home-decorating package, Spearfish Canyon vacation, freezer, gasoline, car washes, beef and assorted prizes donated by businesses.
Tickets may be purchased from area parishioners, Rosie’s Food and Gas or at THS. The drawing is 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29.
As raffle chairman, Kevin Weiler has made a seven-year commitment to the Mardi Gras committee.
“Seven years sounds like a lot, but it’s gone so fast and it’s enjoyable meeting people — before you know it, it’s done,” Kevin Weiler said.
Mardi Gras entertainment features the sounds of the Beatles, a musical comedy show and a rock-and-roll hypnotist.
The entertainment was secured by chairpersons Craig and JoLyn Tessier.
Abbey Road Band consists of four musicians from the Spearfish, S.D., area, who share a passion for Beatles music, according to a press release.
The band plays 7 p.m. Saturday in the Trinity High School Auditorium.
“I think they will entertain the whole crowd, whether they are younger or older,” Craig Tessier said.
Friday opens at 7 p.m. with Gordy Pratt, described as a stand-up musical comedy show. He’s appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and other radio and TV shows. He’s opened for The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell and Kenny Chesney.
Midnight Mike, the rock and roll hypnotist takes stage at 8 p.m. Friday.
Midnight Mike, who is Mike Wilkinson of Dickinson, caters his show to all ages, using props, lighting and sound.
Another aspect of Mardi Gras is an auction Sunday, Jan. 29, in the THS Auditorium. Doors open for viewing at 11:30 a.m., with the bidding to start at 1 p.m.
The dining room offers three days of meals — each menu features 12 food items.
* Friday, serving times are 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The menu includes barbecue pork ribs, deep-fried Alaskan pollack fillets, scalloped potatoes and the trimmings.
* Saturday, serving times are 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The menu includes chicken noodle soup with fried chicken, ham, rice and giblets and all the trimmings.
* Sunday, Jan. 29, serving is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The menu includes deep-fried turkey and roast beef with mashed potatoes and all the trimmings.
“It’s three days of delicious food,” said Connie Kralicek, who does the ordering. “It’s a great way to support the Dickinson Catholic Schools as well as have a great time. If you haven’t seen your friends lately, you’ll probably see them at the Mardi Gras.”