THANK THE VOLUNTEERS
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.
MARGARET BARTLETT: Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Sponsors Coordinator
Margaret is a real estate broker with Coldwell Bander Willis-Smith and a 20+ year Ghent resident. Margaret is also the vice-president of the Ghent Neighborhood Association and says she loves the Ghent neighborhood because it's friendly, charming, and eclectic.
Nancy Bradley: Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Vendor and Entertainment Coordinator
Nancy moved to New Bern two years ago, and she, her husband, and daughter became a part of the Ghent neighborhood two years ago. Nancy is an interior designer working from home, specializing in fresh and current, yet budget-friendly design. She loves the Ghent neighborhood for the sense of community it inspires.
Suzannah Cockerille: Mardi Gras Copywriter and Graphic Designer, Website Assistant
Suzannah is a writer, poet, and freelance copywriter and graphic designer. She's lived in New Bern just shy of thirty years. The things Suzannah loves most about Ghent are the beautiful old houses and that Ghent is filled with friendly neighbors who care about each other—plus, it's a great neighborhood for a laid-back bike ride.
Cyndi Papia: Mardi Gras Website Developer, I.T. Chair, King & Queen Float Decorator
Cyndi moved to New Bern in June 2018, from New England, and moved to Ghent in October 2018. She loves the Ghent neighborhood, the neighbors, and its historic charm.
She is a freelance website designer and developer and started her business, Office To-Go, in 1998.
This is Cyndi's second year on the Mardi Gras committee. She is also a Neighborhood Watch block captain, member-at-large on the Ghent Neighborhood Association, and volunteers for many New Bern events. She can be reached at Info@OfficeTo-Go.com.
Terri Philyaw & Mary Traina: Parade Coordinators
Terri Philyaw and Mary Traina have been living in the Ghent area for two years. They report that "living in this area is absolutely the best - charming homes, great neighbors, and the feeling of being home!"
Terri is from North Carolina and is currently employed with the Defense Logistics Agency. Mary moved to North Carolina from Virginia after retiring from D.L.A. and is an active volunteer in New Bern.
Steve Kelly: All-purpose Event Bureaucrat
Steve has lived in Eastern NC most of his life, in Ghent since January 2006, and wonders why it took him so long to get here. There's a sense of community in New Bern that can't be surpassed, and that feeling is especially true in Ghent.
Steve was a founder of the Ghent Mardi Gras, having helped Vana Prewitt to organize the first small event in March 2015. It just gets better each year, thanks to the terrific Ghent neighbors who take part in making it happen - especially their new ideas that keep the Ghent Mardi Gras new and fresh from year to year.
Steve's been retired from MCAS Cherry Point for more than 15 years, retired from Down East Folk Arts Society (presenter of folk and blues singer/songwriter concerts) a few years ago, and produced the Twentieth Century American Composers live music revues At the Gallery at the Bank of the Arts for the first 4 years of that series.
The photo above is of the 2015 original Queen and King of Ghent Mardi Gras, Vana Prewitt and Steve Kelly.
Nancy Hill: Accountant, Public Relations
Nancy is a Pennsylvania native who spent twenty years in Texas before arriving at last in New Bern in 2011. She's a gardener and cat lover, and found what she joyfully calls her perfect home in Ghent.
Nancy has worked for Bank of America for more than two decades, most recently as a Process Designer in the area of Consumer Lending and Small Business, making her the ideal Mardi Gras accountant. This is Nancy's second year on the Mardi Gras committee.