LEESVILLE, La. – This year, set your alarm clock to go off a little earlier, slip on your sneakers before heading out and plan for your efforts to help a good cause as you celebrate Mardi Gras in downtown Leesville, Louisiana on February 9.


You'll need to get up a tad bit earlier if you plan on racing in the inaugural Mumbo Gumbo 5K, a new event for the annual Mardi Gras celebrations which will provide funds for a local chapter of a veterans charity that strives to improve the quality of life for wounded warriors and veterans.

Proceeds from the race, set for 9 a.m., will be donated to Team Red, White and Blue (TeamRWB), which aims to serve wounded warriors, veterans, concerned citizens and advocates in the community to help soldiers return from war and transition out of the military with physical fitness activities across the state.

"Our community is rich in military history with Fort Polk and Camp Beauregard both located in Central Louisiana," a TeamRWB spokesperson said. "Louisiana troops have played a major role in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn."

The event also provides an opportunity for local businesses to get in on the action and capture some visibility by purchasing sponsorships.

The sponsorships, available at a  variety of levels, will get your business logo on t-shirts, registration forms, banners and more.

For more information, visit www.TeamRWB.org or contact Jennifer at 337-378-8282 or Lindsay at 321-246-3346.

To register for the race, click here or visit the event's Facebook page for a link and more information.

After the race, be sure to hang around to taste the results of the 3rd annual Gumbo Cook-Off, hosted by Leesville Main Street. Tasting begins at noon, and you can get in on all the action for $7 (adults) and $3 (children).

Also on tap for the day is the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce's annual Mardi Gras Parade, which rolls through downtown Leesville at 2 p.m.

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