The event, being planned by local event organizers Kate Furlotte and Lisa Bonin, will feature entertainment such as acrobats, a belly dancer, a fire swallower and local jazz band Hugh Jazz.
Stations serving traditional Creole food will be set up as if they're mini restaurants in the Big Easy. To complete the Mardi Gras vibe, those attending the event will be given masks and beads to wear.
“We've been talking about this for a couple of years, how fun would this be, just to kick off lent with a nice big party,” Bonin said.
Verdicchio operating manager Mark Gregorini said traditional Creole food is a bit of a departure for the restaurant, which normally serves Italian food. He said it's taken some research, but thinks he's figured the cuisine out.
Those at the event should expect a lot of seafood-based dishes, including Po'Boy sandwiches, which consist of breaded oysters and a type of spicy mayonnaise called remoulade.
“For non-seafood lovers and vegetarians, there's going to be a lot of options for them as well,” Gregorini said.
The event benefits the Janis Foligno Foundation, created in memory of Janis Foligno — the wife of former Sudbury Wolves coach Mike Foligno — who passed away in 2009 after a battle with breast cancer.
The foundation has raised nearly $400,000 since its inception, and supports various cancer research organizations, including the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada here in Sudbury.
Bonin said she hopes to be able to contribute up to $15,000 to the Janis Foligno Foundation through the Mardi Gras event.
The event's Feb. 14 launch was attended by Mike Foligno and three of his four kids. Foligno, currently assistant coach of the NHL's New Jersey Devils, said he's thrilled the event's organizers have chosen to support the Janis Foligno Foundation.
The demands of the hockey season won't allow Foligno and sons Marcus and Nick, who are both NHL players, to attend the event. However, his two daughters, Lisa and Cara, will be there.
“The food's going to be outstanding, the entertainment's going to be outstanding, so it'll be a great event for sure,” Foligno said.
The Mardi Gras gala begins at 6:30 p.m. on March 1. Tickets, which cost $200 per person, are available by phoning 705-626-0040.