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Nothing says Mardi Gras like a party - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Nothing says Mardi Gras like a party

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Mardi Gras in Burlington was filled with beads, bands, and beers. Not only were people celebrating but it was for a good cause. All the proceeds from float registration and the sale of beads, were donated to H.O.P.E Works, a nonprofit that aims to end violence towards women.

"Well we are not quite sure the totals aren't in yet but we are hoping we have raised $25,000 today," said Cathleen Wilson of H.O.P.E Works.

And H.O.P.E. Works wasn't the only group trying to raise money for a cause.

"This is our float for Mariella. Mariella is in need of a lifesaving kidney transplant and we are hoping to raise $75,000 for future expenses for her medical wise," said Mariella's mom Tonya Desjardin.

Supporting a good cause and celebrating New Orleans style. The event was sponsored by Magic Hat but it wasn't only for 21 and up.

"It has been very kid friendly so far. They have all gotten their faces painted, people have been handing out beads to the kids -- it's been great!" Melody Marckres said.

Floats were rolling down Main Street for the parade, which was led by Mayor Miro Weinberger and the winners of this year's costume contest. The duo has tried for three years and finally took home the victory. Despite the masks these two are no strangers.

"We are married for 33 years and we have spent a few weeks getting ready. And we are so excited about this," the winners said.

"It's a great Burlington tradition," said Mayor Weinberger. "It's quite an honor to get out and help lead the parade and it looks like we are going to have a great crowd as usual. It's an exciting day for Burlington."

A tradition that many even traveled for. They say they will make the trip again.

"Of course we are going to come back every year. You kidding me? This is awesome up here. It truly is," said George Temple of Enfield Connecticut.

Regardless of cold temperatures, thousands flocked to Burlington to support a good cause, and have a great time.

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