While Mardi Gras celebrates the revelry before Lent, Ash Wednesday marks the official start of the holy season.
For Christians, it's a time for reflection, and repentance, in preparation for Easter.
A few Sioux City churches are taking an unconventional approach to Ash Wednesday.
Some ELCA Lutheran, Methodist, and Episcopal congregations are offering "Ashes 2 Go." Clergy and lay-people will be visiting retail shops, street corners, homeless shelters, college campuses, and even drive-thru locations to mark the foreheads for the religious rite.
"Ashes to Go is about bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day," said Rev. Emily Mellott. "The people who receive ashes on the street are often people longing to make a connection between their faith and the forces of daily life."
The group of area clergy and lay leaders will have stations in Sioux City at:
Drive-Thru at St. John Lutheran Church, 2801 Jackson St. from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.
Drive-Thru at Augustana Lutheran Church, 600 Court Street. From 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.
Grace United Methodist, 1735 Morningside Ave. from 6:30 - 8:00 a.m.
The Warming Shelter, 9th and Nebraska from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Courthouse and City Offices, 6th and Douglas Streets from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Olsen Campus Center on Peters Ave, Morningside College from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Hy-Vee Marketplace, Hamilton Blvd. from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.