Advocate staff photo by DARLENE DENSTORFF -- Ascension Fair Assocation President Tony Christy, left, and Vice President Richard Brown, thank Gloria Burns for her efforts in organizing the group's 2011 Mardi Gras Gala. This year's gala is Feb. 6 at the Gonzales Civic Center.

Tickets are on sale for the Ascension Fair Association’s annual Mardi Gras Gala on Feb. 6 at the Gonzales Civic Center.

The ball, which starts at 8 p.m., raises money for the association’s community programs, including economic development, health and wellness, education, family and youth empowerment.

The all-volunteer group started in 1950 as the Ascension Negro Fair Association by Prairieville residents hoping to promote agricultural growth and provide educational and recreational activities for the residents of the area, association leaders have said.

The name changed in the 1960s, and the group’s mission expanded to “provide support and to improve the quality of life for the Prairieville and surrounding areas by focusing on education, enrichment and empowerment of our youth, elderly, family unit and the community,” the group’s mission statement says.

In 2008, a state historic marker was placed at the association’s property on La. 929 — once the site of large livestock shows — to mark the history of the group.

The association hosts a fishing day for children each summer and health fairs and seminars.

Music for the ball will be provided by Vince Hutchinson and The Original Heavy Storm Band.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling Gloria Burns at (225) 939-6861 or Anthony Christy at (225) 715-1952.