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Mardi Gras party Friday to benefit new animal shelter

The Humane Society of the Lakes' Mardi Gras fund-raiser is Friday, and just in time. The shelter is opening its doors to the public March 13.

Board President Beth Pridday said money from the fund-raiser is earmarked for last minute needs for the shelter's opening and for things that couldn't be donated, for example a hairdryer for the dogs, kennels and more.

"This is an extremely critical time," she said. "It's like moving into a new home, you need the extra boost."

Mardi Gras Madness Casino Night is Friday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Speak Easy. Gambling will consist of horse racing, black jack, roulette, big wheel and pull tabs. Music is by The Fat Dads, a New Orleans style blues and jazz-fusion band from Bismarck, N.D.

"They're our donation to the night to make it a success," Speak Easy owner Michael Mercil said of the band.

Mercil is also offering three dinner packages for guests, including jambalaya, andouille stuffed pork tenderloin and blackened snapper, each at $18. The dinners also include salad and bread pudding for dessert.