The French and Germans cultures will collide at 5 p.m. Saturday to celebrate before the Catholic holy period of penance and self-sacrifice begins March 5.

St. Catharine Catholic Church is hosting its 11th annual German Mardi Gras in the Unrein Building at the Ellis County Fairgrounds. The evening begins with a social, dinner at 6 p.m. and a dance led by the Wes Windholz Band.

"It's kind of a pre-Lent thing, you know. Everyone can go out and party one time before Lent before they have to give things up," said Larry Dreiling, church member.

The evening's dance injects some of the area's heritage into the festivities.

"It's just a regular Mardi Gras, but we added the polka music," he said. "I guess that kind of makes it German."

Glazed pork loin, baked potatoes, salads, vegetables and dessert are on the menu. Approximately 400 people are expected to attend. Mardi Gras costumes are welcome, and face painting will be offered.

Tickets can be bought by calling Dreiling at (785) 650-1111.