HOT SPRINGS -- For the second year, the Musical Notes Foundation teamed up with the Hot Springs Jazz Society to offer a night of Mardi-Gras-theme entertainment.
Party Gras took place Jan. 26 at Vapors Live. Unlike previous iterations of this event, formerly known as the Costume Ball & Contest, there was no costume contest -- although there were some costumes -- and no King and Queen Jazz. But guests did enjoy a Cajun buffet dinner, along with the chance to bid on silent-auction baskets; cut a rug to musical entertainment by the Village Big Band and, later, the Sol Def Band; partake in casino games and a raffle; and strut their stuff in a Second Line march.
The Musical Notes foundation, headed by President Stephen Sloan, raises the means for underprivileged children to gain access to music education. The Jazz Society, presided over by Valerie Tobin, is "dedicated to the preservation, presentation and perpetuation of jazz, one of America's great original art forms." It provides scholarships for young jazz musicians.
-- Story and photos by Helaine R. Williams