HELENA – Helena businesses are celebrating Fat Tuesday, a southern tradition, with a local twist for Helena Food Share.

Local businesses will be donating a portion of their Fat Tuesday proceeds to food share.

A total of 13 local businesses participated in Helena Food Share’s Fat Tuesday, each creating their own Fat Tuesday specials.

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Jill Roberts and Colleen Casey, owners of The Hawthorn Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, created a “King’s cup slushie drink”.

“Well, the one thing I can say about Helena and Downtown Helena especially, is there’s a really strong sense of community. Everyone here is to help each other out and certainly when Food Share come around, we want to pull together and do whatever we can to raise money for such a great cause,” said Jill Roberts, co-owner of The Hawthorne.

This collaboration started years ago when Blackfoot River Brewing partnered with Mosaic architecture to brew a batch of the Mardi Gras Red Ale.

“We have a really warm friendly environment, and people see their friends here and they can chit-chat, it’s like somebody’s living room. Fat Tuesday is also a really great night to celebrate; just celebrate that fact that spring is on its’ way and winter is kind of behind us,” said Colleen Casey, co-owner of The Hawthorne.

Helena Food Share said this is a great way for the community to support local business and help those in need at the same time.

“I think it’s great, it will bring a lot of people down here, especially on a Tuesday. I think our Downtown is excited for an event like this,” said Windbag Saloon house manager Emily Fulp.

Fulp said something special is on their menu; Cajun gumbo with a catfish sandwich.

They will be handing out traditional Mardi Gras beads as well.

At Park Avenue Bakery, Melanie Hahlaohm created King cakes with cinnamon roll dough, lemon zest, and bananas foster bread pudding, just for the celebration.

“It’s fun for all of us to collaborate and help out Helena Food Share because its such a great cause and we always like to help the community'” said Melanie Hahlaohm, Head Baker at Park Avenue Bakery.

List of the participating businesses.

Mardi Gras Red Ale release at Blackfoot River Brewing (5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.) Live music and a photo booth
The Bridge Pizza – Andouille sausage Cajun pizza and Mardi Gras Red Ale (11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
Miller’s Crossing – Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, Red Ale (11 a.m. – close)
Park Avenue Bakery – King Cakes and Bananas Foster (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Mediterranean Grille – Red Ale and Food Special (11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
Bella Roma – Smoked Salmon Stuffed Ravioli in Squid Ink & Cream Sauce (5 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Windbag Saloon – Fried Catfish Sandwiches, Gumbo, Hurricanes (11 a.m. – close)
The Hawthorn Bottle Shop & Tasting Room – King Cup Slushies (12 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
Hub Coffee – Pecan Pralines (7 a.m. – 6 p.m., pecans available now through Fat Tuesday)
Murry’s Cafe – Vegan Hopping Johns, Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, King Cakes (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Benny’s Bistro – Food Special, Mardi Gras Red Ale (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Café Zydeco – An entire menu of Bourbon Street Favorites (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Big Dipper Ice Cream – King Cake-topped Ice Cream (noon- 9 p.m.)