Celebrate an exciting Downtown tradition as the 6th annual Mardi Gras Mambo returns to Massachusetts Ave. this Saturday, Feb. 25, 2:30 p.m. This year’s event is dedicated to the people of New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina as well as three important Mardi Gras and Indiana Jazz icons from Indianapolis and New Orleans.
The family friendly parade kicks-off at the Athenaeum’s YMCA and will feature floats created by Expo Design, horse and carriages, minihorses, and much more, including the popular doggy krewe, the Krewe of Barkus sponsored by Three Dog Bakery. In Mardi Gras Mambo tradition, 14 krewes made up of students from the after-school program “At Your School” (AYS) will march the parade route.
The Shortridge Middle School Band along with the “Jazz Legends” float will pay tribute to legendary Indiana Avenue jazz musicians, Pookie Johnson and Jimmy Coe. New Orleans drummer, Damon Batiste and his brother Jamal, conducted a workshop on the unique style of New Orleans parade music with Shortridge’s band last week to get them prepped to perform in the parade.
Another float will be dedicated to Tootie Montana, known as “The greatest Mardi Gras Indian who ever lived.” The float will carry Montana’s relatives as well as the parade’s founder, Robin Williams-Hawks. School 91 will be carried on an African drum float decorated with masks. A fourth float, carrying members of local theaters including Indy Fringe, will feature a Russian theme in honor of Grand Duke Alexis of Romanoff, who chose the official Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold for the Krewe of Rex in 1883. Adults are then invited to a Mardi Gras Ball at LAMP Fine Art Gallery at 8 p.m. Dance to music, enjoy food and drink and celebrate.
A Mardi Gras Indian Headdress will be on display at Global Gifts located at 446 Massachusetts Ave. through Feb. 26. A post-Katrina New Orleans documentary by A. Walker Shaw and Robin Williams-Hawks will be shown at LAMP Gallery, 719 Massachusetts Ave., Feb. 23-25. Show times are Thursday 12-7 p.m., Friday 12-9 p.m. and Saturday 12-6 p.m.
Visit www.DiscoverMassAve.com to learn more about Mardi Gras Mambo.