(NECN: Jack Thurston, Burlington, Vt.) - Vermont's largest city celebrates Mardi Gras this weekend. Thousands of revelers, many of them families, are expected to fill the streets of downtown Burlington for the 18th annual Mardi Gras parade.
The event is put on by the beer makers at Vermont's famous Magic Hat Brewing Company. Money raised through bead sales and other fundraisers benefits H.O.P.E. Works. The non-profit aims to reduce sexual violence in Chittenden County, while supporting victims.
The parade nets H.O.P.E. Works about $25,000 to fund its programs, which executive director Cathleen Wilson said are more in-demand now than ever. "I think everyone has a bit of cabin fever, so this is a great excuse to get outside, do something fun, and do it for a good cause," Wilson said of the Mardi Gras parade.
Wilson estimated it takes about 350 volunteers to ensure the parade day goes off without a hitch.
Festivities start at noon Saturday, and the parade itself hits Main Street at 3 p.m. For more information, visit this website.