BATH — Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” begins in January with the Twelfth Night Feast of the Epiphany. It is celebrated all over the world with one of the biggest carnivals in New Orleans. Traditionally, it is a time to let loose and enjoy oneself before Lent. People wear a variety of costumes and celebrate with food, music and dancing. The culmination of the season takes place on the day before Ash Wednesday, on Fat Tuesday.

This local Mardi Gras celebration will be held on Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Neighborhood Faith Community, Bath United Church of Christ, 150 Congress Ave. The party includes music, dancing, refreshments, costumes, and mask- making activities for kids and adults. Costumes and masks are optional, states a release from the church.

The event is a fundraiser to benefit the Connecting Neighbors Capital Challenge (CNCC), an effort by the faith community to remodel the church building and ultimately make it carbon- neutral. The effort reflects the community’s pledge to care for creation by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and dramatically increasing its energy efficiency.

A little more than $161,000 has been pledged to the CNCC. “A grant writing team is working diligently to raise funds from outside agencies and foundations. Another team has worked long and hard with architects, engineers and contractors to identify options and to determine the most cost-effective means of achieving their carbonneutral vision,” states the release.

To date, the organization is no longer heating the building with an oil-fired boiler. Steps for the future include: repairing the metal roof, installing air- source heat pumps, grading the parking lot to direct runoff away from the building, adding additional insulation and new drywall, and redesigning the entry ways will reduce cold infiltration.

Unlike many churches, which may be open only a few hours a week, according to Jane Parry, the Bath UCC building “is open seven days a week for all kinds of community groups (farmers’ market, day care, 12 recovery groups, ArtVan, food bank, just to name a few).”

More information about the CNCC is available on the Bath UCC website:

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