Lexington Mardi Gras Jazz Parade

Friday, November 04, 2005

Join the fun of Lexington's 3rd annual Mardi Gras Jazz Parade!
led by NYC's Burnt Sugar

Saturday, February 25th, through the streets of downtown Lexington!
beginning at 6pm at the corner of Short and Mill Sts

Yup, YOU are invited to join the fun.

If you haven't experienced the parade before - this is Lexington's true people's parade, organized by the-little-studio-that-could (and does), Mecca, and the collective of art freaks known as the Action Arts Collective. No politicians waving from cars, no 'floats' sponsored by multi-national corporations - it's your freaky friends and neighbors in the streets celebrating their (and your) uniqueness in the style of a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.

This time 'round the parade will be led by New York City's BURNT SUGAR, a fourteen piece multi-cultural juggernaut of a avant jazz/free funk/'23rd Century' r&b band - the logical successors to last year's leader the Sun Ra Arkestra. Featuring mc's (including Cincinnati's Napoleon Maddox whom you might have seen fronting the trio ISWHAT?!), horn and brass players, djs, rhythmatic geniuses, and one badass conductor, Burnt Sugar is a whole bag of creative fun. Check out http://www.burntsugarindex.com for the full scoop and FREE sounds.

But, the Sugar don't march alone. They need you by their sides! Grab a group of friends, come up with a theme and costumes (we already have confirmation of a cardboard robot brigade and a group of bicycle-riding percussionists!), and drop your science on Lexington! Or, do your own thang - bells and whistles, feathers and flowers ... show the love for whateva you love!

Parade Route
The parade will begin at the corner of Mill and Short Sts, then move down Mill to Main, east on Main to Limestone, north on Limestone to Short, and west on Short back to Mill St.

An all-ages after-party will be held immediately following the parade in the performance hall at ArtsPlace, 161 N. Mill St (just a block from the parade’s ending point). The party will feature a performance by Burnt Sugar, a performance by Mecca’s Samba dancers and drummers, prizes for the most outrageous/creative parade participants (including the crowning of the parade King and Queen), free King Cake and refreshments and more. The party is free and open to everyone.

The official after-after-party is an ages 21+ celebration at the Dame. The party will feature full-length performances by Burnt Sugar and Cincinnati jazz/hip hop trio ISWHAT?!, as well as FREE Cajun food (including a vegetarian option) and King Cake from Gumbo Ya Ya. Doors for the after-after-party open at 8pm. Admission is $8.

The parade is a walking/people powered (i.e. no motorized vehicle) people’s parade. All are invited to join the fun. There’s no fee for participation, so come get silly with your friends and neighbors. Questions? Contact Mecca at info@meccadance.com or by phone at 254/9790.

Community Decorating Parties
Organizers are hosting a series of decorating parties to encourage community participation. Three parties have been confirmed thus far.

(1) Firebird Studio & Gallery, 359 W. Short St, will host a decorating party on Sunday, Feb.12th beginning at 2pm. All ages are invited. Some decorating supplies will be provided, but folks are always encouraged to bring more.

(2) citizensCREATE, a local non-profit arts group, will facilitate a decorating party aimed at children Saturday, Feb.18th from 2:30-4pm at Mecca dance studio/gallery, 451 Chair Ave (just off S. Broadway near Bolivar). All ages are invited. Some decorating supplies will be provided, but folks are always encouraged to bring more.

(3) The third decorating party is a Nougat sponsored party Monday, Feb.20th beginning at 8pm at the Dame. Again, supplies will be provided. It’s a free event. Ages 21+ admitted.

sponsored by WRFL 88.1FM, the Lexington Action Arts Collective, Mecca: Live Studio & Gallery, Lex Arts (formerly the Lexington Arts & Cultural Council), the UK Office of African-American Student Affairs, Gumbo Ya Ya restaurant, Nougat magazine, Latitude Arts, citizensCREATE,Firebird Studio & Gallery, and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

photo of the Sun Ra Arkestra leading last year's parade by Andy Walko