METAIRIE -- The barricades are in place at Mardi Gras Plaza on Veterans as the 11th annual Family Gras kicks off in Jefferson Parish.
The annual Metairie Mardi Gras event is geared towards family, as the name suggests, and that includes family businesses.
"This is Mardi Gras for us,” said Mark Rito, who owns Any O’Cajun catering along with his wife. “We started doing food in general. She did restaurant management and I gre up making seafood and high-end stuff.”
Together, they run a food stand along the Jefferson Parish parade route during Mardi Gras. This is their 10th year.
"We do weddings, events and parties, but this is still our bread and butter,” Rito said. “And it’s so much fun.”
They’re expecting a busy weekend and so is Denise Collins, who makes handmade crafts.
“Little decorative items that people enjoy putting on,” Collins explained.
She’s been selling at Family Gras since the party started 11 years ago. One of the reasons she keeps coming back is the way the event is run.
“It’s more of a festival type of atmosphere,” she said.
The only thing vendors we spoke with are worried about is the weather.
Family Gras kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2 and will feature David Batiste & The Gladiators along with Deacon John & The Ivories.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 11 a.m. and feature headliner Cyndi Lauper.