It was an afternoon filled with food, dancing and fun as 150 people gathered in the auditorium of St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Hicksville, on Sunday, Feb. 26, to celebrate Mardi Gras, a traditional opportunity for festivity that takes place in the days leading up to the penitential season of Lent. Revelers enjoyed a buffet meal that was served by members of the parish’s Sacrado Corazon de Jesus youth and young adult ministry. Merrymakers of all ages had a chance to work off a few calories while dancing to a mix of party tunes pulsating from the sound system of DJ Kyle Noonan, a 15-year-old parishioner. Father Ben Uzuegbunam, a hospital chaplain in residence at St. Ignatius, served as the Mardi Gras grand marshal, filling in for pastor Father Jim Stachacz, who was returning from his father’s funeral in Pennsylvania. Peggy Gill and Mary Ann Lang, co-chairs of the parish activities committee, organized the event, which was capped by a brief prayer service in the parking lot during which dried palm fronds were burned to produce ashes for use on Ash Wednesday, March 1. (Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz)