Mardi Gras ball raises money for schools, names new rex, queen

Mardi Gras ball raises money for...

LA CROSSE, Wis. - As Fat Tuesday approaches, a Mardi Gras celebration Saturday kicked off a number of celebrations that will raise money for local schools.

The 26th annual Mardi Gras ball took place at the La Crosse Center from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Parishes gathered together to have some fun and raise money for Aquinas Catholic Schools

The ball was just the beginning of a number of upcoming Mardi Gras celebrations in the community, which will raise funds for scholarships, technology improvements and fine arts at Aquinas.

Saturday’s celebration included a dinner and a silent auction. 2016 Coulee Region Mardi Gras Rex and Queen Mary Jo and Ryan Lium said it's a great community event.

"We're celebrating Mardi Gras on one hand and raising money for the school system on the other hand, and it carries on throughout the year with a parade and events,” Ryan Lium said.

This year's newest rex and queen of Mardi Gras were also announced at the ball as Holy Trinity members Mike and Bethany Bakalars.

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