Doors opened around six o’clock in the afternoon, but there were already people inside waiting to enter into the celebration area.

From 1919 to 2019, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church of Prairieville has provided ministry and service for the last 100 years.

On Thursday, February 29, the church held a Centennial Auction and Social inside the Activity Center. Tickets were $50 dollars for the event and proceeds went back into the church for services.

“This year, we had to actually cut off the purchasing of tickets around 300 people. We could definitely fit more than that in here, but we only planned to have our food vendors provide for that number,” Fr. Jerry Martin said.

Doors opened around six o’clock in the afternoon, but there were already people inside waiting to enter into the celebration area. Guests were greeted at the door with champagne to enjoy as they waited to collect their table numbers.

Entering the main celebration area, one was welcomed with food to the right, auction items to the left, and a stage that was decorated to meet the theme of Mardi Gras. There was also a wine pull, which allowed guests to pay $20 dollars to select a wine bag with a mystery wine inside. Those quickly sold out after the start of the event.

“It’s really just a great time to bring the community together and to support the church,” Fr. Martin said. “Not just people who are parishioners at our church, but those who are outside of the church, too. This is the 100th year for St. John. We have the auction every year, though. This one is just a bigger celebration.”

A fun thing guests could enjoy at the end of the event was a group of church members dressing up in costumes and masks, including Fr. Martin. This was a tradition in central and south central Louisiana areas that celebrated Mardi Gras.

This tradition is originally called Courir de Mardi Gras. It includes the chasing of chickens while men were on horseback dressed up. They would do this through the countryside and stop along the way to beg for food at houses.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.