Black History and Mardi Gras celebrations fill February calendar

by The City Wire staff ( 3 views 

The shortest month of the year is anything but short on festivities and celebrations. February will round out with a Black History magic show, a performance by a 70s pop queen, legendary spaghetti, and of course, Mardi Gras.

• Fort Smith Public Library Black History Celebration
In honor of Black History Month, the Fort Smith Public Library will host a special celebration of African-American culture and heritage on Feb. 22.

Headlining the event will be "Tommy Terrific's Wacky Magic." The interactive presentation will include an educational magic show about jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong  and  will feature magic tricks related to his hit songs such as "Hello Dolly," "When the Saints Go Marching In," and "What a Wonderful World."

Festivities will get underway at 2 p.m. at the Fort Smith Main Library Branch on Rogers Avenue. The event is free and open to all ages. For more information, contact the library at 479-783-0229.

• Alma PAC presents Helen Reddy
The Alma Performing Arts Center will welcome the "70s Queen of Pop," Helen Reddy, to its stage on Feb. 22. Known for hits such as  "I Am Woman," "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady," and "Delta Dawn," the Grammy Award winning artist is back on tour after a more than decade-long hiatus from touring.

Reddy will perform tunes from throughout her career, which also spanned stage and screen. She appeared on popular television programs such as "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Love Boat," and performed on Broadway and at the famous West End.

The show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$40 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 479-632-2129.

• Immaculate Conception 44th annual Spaghetti Dinner
Immaculate Conception Church will host its legendary spaghetti supper on Feb. 23. The 44th annual event will include spaghetti with homemade meat sauce, marinated mushrooms, house salad, made-from-scratch rolls, dessert, and drink.

The dinner will be held in the church's Parish Center, from 4-7 p.m. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12, and free for children two and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 479-783-6798.

Guests on-the-go can show their support by purchasing a take-out box. A one-way drive-thru will be set up on the curb in front of the I.C. gymnasium on North 'A' Street.

All proceeds from the dinner support Immaculate Conception School's Parent Teacher Organization. For more information, contact I.C. at 479-783-6798.

• Classic Eateries in the River Valley
Noted food and travel author Kat Robison will  serve as a guest speaker at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith on Feb. 26. Author of  "Pies of Arkansas" and "Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and the River Valley," Robison will share about her travels and her food experiences across the states, as part of the school's Center for Lifelong Learning Lecture Series.

The presentation is open to the public. It will be held in the Echols Conference Center on the UAFS campus from 1-2 p.m.

Admission is $7. For more information, contact the UAFS Center for Lifelong Learning at 479-788-7220.

• Mardi Gras! The Best Party in Town
Mardi Gras season is near, and the Fort Smith Museum of History is celebrating the occasion by hosting "The Best Party in Town" on Feb. 28. This soiree will include a fun night of cocktails, Cajun food, and chance bidding.

Mardi Gras! will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church Parish Hall in Fort Smith beginning with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. A Cajun dinner will follow at 7 p.m. A live auction featuring destination vacations and high-dollar party prize packages will also be held, along with live music and dancing.

Chances for a $2,000 Newton's Jewelers shopping spree will be sold for $10 both during and prior to the event. The winner will not have to be present to win.

Tickets are $75, with tables for ten ranging from $750 to $850. Seating is limited. For more information, contact the museum at 783-7841.