ST. LOUIS - The mayor’s Mardi Gras ball is more than just a lot of fun, it's also a fundraiser for the Mardi Gras Foundation, which awards money to different organizations in Soulard and downtown.
In recent years, money has been given to put wrought-iron fencing around parks in Soulard, as well as cash for the Gene Slay Boys’ Club. The foundation recently funded a new playground in Lucas Park. Some of the flowers and shrubs you see around downtown were paid for with funds raised by the ball.
A few dozen protesters gathered outside city hall to heckle arriving guests. They had a message for the mayor. It's been just over six months since Michael Brown of Ferguson was shot and killed by a police officer, and protestors don't want people to forget that.
Inside the city hall rotunda, however, people enjoyed gathering together with friends and family.
It was a sell-out event, with about 700 people took part, enjoying drinks, dancing, and food that you'd find on a New Orleans restaurant menu.
The ball has raised approximately $350,000 over its 13-year existence.