For the past 10 years, the library’s fundraiser has helped to lift "the local celebratory spirit of Fat Tuesday" while raising money to support library book collections and enhanced programs in the library system, organizers said. The fundraiser includes a silent auction, New Orleans Jazz band, dancing, French cuisine and awards for local community and literacy builders who have collaborated with the library, organizers said.
"We rely on Mardi Gras to raise funds for purchasing new books, adding and enhancing our system wide program offerings, and heightening public awareness and appreciation of the library’s mission," City Librarian James Welbourne said in a statement. "Though the community remembers our annual Mardi Gras celebration as festive and fun, we and the Patrons and Library Boards consider it an important lifeline to the on-going vitality of New Haven Free Public Library."
Tickets to Mardi Gras begin at $75.00 and offer participants ane opportunity to bid early on a variety of silent auction items, which include Elizabeth Alexander’s signed chap book of poetry featuring her 2009 inaugural poem, two tickets for a tour of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, a personally guided tour of a New Haven neighborhood by author Colin Caplan for 5 guests, and two tickets to a Lincoln Center performance. The awards ceremony recognitions this year include: International Festival of Arts & Ideas, LEAP and Connecticut Humanities Council.
The Mardi Gras fundraiser offers giving opportunities to support the library, organizers said. Anyone who wants to donate an item and/or service to the silent auction, to purchase an ad in the program book, to support at a sponsorship level, or make a gift in honor of the public library, can find information and giving opportunities at www.newhavenlibrarypatrons.com.