Committee Krewe


They may have titles, but every member is involved in all aspects of pulling together Mardi Gras Festival. We would also like to thank the volunteers who help with parade coordination, cleanup, setup, etc.

The event is fully self-funded by generous donations by our sponsors, parade and vendor registration fees. We’d also like to thank Craig Powell Photography for allowing us to use his photographs throughout the site.

Tia Higgins

Tia Higgins, Mardi Gras Chair, Sponsors

Tia moved to New Bern 3 years ago from Concord, NC. She’s originally from Ohio. Tia is a hairstylist and owner of Southern Pixie Salon and Spa.

This is Tia’s second year on the Mardi Gras committee. One of the reasons why she and Marty bought their house in Ghent is because of the Mardi Gras.

Marty Higgins

Marty Higgins, Vendor Coordinator

Marty moved to New Bern 3 years ago from Concord, NC. He has been doing paint/body work for 29 years. You can find Marty at Toyota of New Bern.

This is Marty’s second year on the Mardi Gras committee.

Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly, Entertainment Coordinator

Steve has lived in Eastern NC most of his life and in Ghent since January 2006. He says there’s a sense of community in New Bern that can’t be surpassed, and finds that feeling is especially true in Ghent.

Steve co-founded “Ghent” Mardi Gras in 2015. He retired from MCAS Cherry Point and Down East Folk Arts Society, and produced the Twentieth Century American Composers live music revues at the Gallery at Bank of the Arts for the first four years of that series.

Mark Krcmar

Mark Krcmar, Volunteer Coordinatior, Jack of all Trades

Since moving to the neighborhood almost four years ago, I’ve loved the feel of the place — friendly neighbors, shaded sidewalks, interesting houses, fun events…It’s very much a real neighborhood in every sense of the word.

Mardi Gras is one of my favorite events. When I was asked to be on the committee, it was easy to say “yes.”

This is Mark’s first year on the Mardi Gras committee.

Mary Traina and Bella

Mary Traina, Parade Coordinator

Mary moved here six years ago from Chesterfield, VA. Of all the neighborhoods in New Bern, Ghent is the one that spoke to her the loudest. After attending her first Mardi Gras in 2017, she decided Ghent was the perfect place for her.

Mary’s two cats, Boots and Beenie, and dog, Bella, allow her to take up residence on 8th St. Neighbors on 8th St have welcomed her and she cannot imagine living anywhere else in New Bern.

This is Mary’s fourth year on the Mardi Gras committee.

Linda Grzeika, Parade Coordinator

A lifelong resident of Connecticut, Linda and her husband, Tom, retired to New Bern in August of 2019. They have two grown sons, one granddaughter, and two Maltese-mix pooches named Bailey and Buddy.

“My husband and I love New Bern and we’re happy to be part of the Ghent/Trolley Run neighborhood,” said Linda. “Getting involved in events like the Mardi Gras parade, helps connect us to our new community.”

This is Linda’s second year on the Mardi Gras committee.

Cyndi Papia

Cyndi Papia, Website Developer/IT, Treasurer

Cyndi moved from Massachusetts to New Bern in May 2018 and to Ghent, October 2018. She is a freelance website developer and virtual assistant. Cyndi started her business, Office To-Go, in 1998.

This is Cyndi’s fourth year on the Mardi Gras committee. She is the Ghent Neighborhood Association treasurer, a New Bern Civitan Club Board Director, and volunteers for many New Bern events.

Alan Norris

Alan Norris, Graphics Designer

Alan Norris and wife, Amy, moved into the neighborhood a year and a half ago from New Smyrna Beach, Florida. They have operated their company, Great Circle Marketing, for 29 years.

Alan volunteered to design this year’s Mardi Gras poster, ads and other graphics, and to serve on the committee. In addition to his work as a graphic designer, he is an Air Force veteran, sailor, private pilot, and pretty good handyman.

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