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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tucson Mardi Gras is holding its second annual festival on Feb. 26

Party-goers+dance+to+live+music+by+local+Tucson+band%2C+The+Carnivaleros%2C+at+the+Mardi+Gras+event+at+Hotel+Congress+on+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+13%2C+2018.+The+band+played+three+sets+throughout+the+event.+
Madeleine Viceconte
Party-goers dance to live music by local Tucson band, The Carnivaleros, at the Mardi Gras event at Hotel Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. The band played three sets throughout the event.

From the creators of The Slaughterhouse comes a taste of New Orleans. The Tucson Mardi Gras Festival starts its second year on Saturday, Feb. 26. 

The free festival includes authentic Cajun food, specialty drinks and parades.

Sierra Martin is the event manager of Tucson Mardi Gras. Due to COVID-19, the festival did not resume during 2021, but they are excited for an even bigger party than last time, according to Martin.

Martin described the first festival in 2020 as a huge success even though it poured rain the entire day. 

“Tucson Cajuns and Mardi Gras enthusiasts alike still showed up with coats and umbrellas and the event was a huge success,” Martin said. 

Bobby Sutton is the creator of the festival. He grew up in Louisiana and wanted to bring a taste of Mardi Gras to Tucson. The energy of Tucson is similar to the excitement in New Orleans, according to Martin. Everyone wants to have a good time surrounded by food, music and interesting people. 

Highlights of the festival include live music all day, parades, specialty drinks and the crawfish boil.

“We drive in hundreds of pounds of live crawfish for a huge crawfish boil. There is a full bar with traditional Hurricanes and Hand Grenades and we have private Bourbon Street Balcony Suites,” Martin said.

With its convenient location to the University of Arizona, students can experience Mardi Gras culture far outside of Louisiana. 

The 2022 Site Map shows where to find the day-long activities.
Courtesy of Sierra Martin
The 2022 Site Map shows where to find the day-long activities.
Courtesy of Sierra Martin

Alan Tran, a junior studying physiology at the UA, attended the festival during its opening year. 

“It was essentially a downscaled version of what it was like in New Orleans,” Tran said.

Tran said the live music and food are great especially because many of its hosts have New Orleans ties. He recommends the event to friends to experience something new and different from other events held in Tucson and he is looking forward to attending this year and the years to come. 

Bruce Guercio is a member of Cornerstone Band that will play at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday for the event. The band has been together since 2006, and they played two years ago in the rain but the crowd was still electric. 

Guercio described the band as a variety dance cover band. At the festival, they will be focusing on songs inspired by the Bayou such as Hank Williams Sr.’s “Jambalaya” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Swamp Music.” Guercio and the band are excited to play again at Tucson Mardi Gras.

Join the Tucson community in celebrating Mardi Gras on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. Check out the Tucson Mardi Gras website for more information and upgraded tickets.


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