The climax of Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday, marks the end of Carnival and the approach of Lent. This year it also marks the ground-breaking ceremony for the charitable organization Sisters Of The Road
, which is opening its new Personalist Center at 137 NW Sixth Ave and will feature Portland's saltiest drag queen, Darcelle XV
as the ceremonial hammer-swinger.
Sisters Of The Road serves Portland's homeless and impoverished communities by offering hot, cheap meals; job-training; support to parents and children; and by offering solutions to poverty and homelessness through community advocacy. Sister's meals can be purchased or are available through a “barter system” where 15 minutes of work will put credit on the books redeemable for a meal and a drink.
The Personalist Center, which opens in mid-2007, will offer a new indoor waiting area “large enough to allow for another 15 people to get out of the elements and add two or three barter positions” said Lisa Hawash, Sisters of The Road development manager.
This event will mark the first expansion of the café since 1986, when Sisters converted an adjacent store-front into seating for 29. The organization wanted the ceremony to be a fun celebration and found Fat Tuesday fitting because “we're all about food here and the timing is right,” Hawash told WWIRE.
As for the decision to have 76-year-old female impersonator and cabaret performer Walter Cole, better known to Portlanders as Darcelle XV, take the first hammer swing, Hawash said “He's right there in the same neighborhood and will pique people's interest. "And he was happy to do it… She.”