DAMN GOOD HOSPITALITY HOSTS “FORT MARDI GRAS” BLOCK PARTY AND PROCESSIONAL AT REVOLUTION LIVE, LED BY THE “KING OF FORT MARDI GRAS,” PAUL CASTRONOVO AND MAYOR DEAN TRANTALIS, ON MARCH 2
Free Event Features Loads of Beads, Live Street Performers, Oversized Puppets and Costumes, and New Orleans-Style Cuisine with more than 1,000 Pounds of Crawfish and an Oyster-Eating Contest
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (February TK, 2019) — For the fourth year running, Damn Good Hospitality brings to life an incredible event filled with fun for all ages, music, food and the joyous spirit of New Orleans’ proudest tradition with a South Florida twist, Fort Mardi Gras. The event, which features a block party in front of Revolution Live and second-to-none processional on the Riverwalk, will take place on March 2 at 100 SW Third Ave., outside America’s Backyard. Admission is free.
For the past two years, Damn Good Hospitality has brought together the best in New Orleans-style cuisine, street performers, entertainment booths and craft vendors for one of the biggest community events in Fort Lauderdale. Through the execution of Fort Mardi Gras, the event’s producers at Damn Good Hospitality hope to take attendees out of their normal routine and inspire them to see the world through a new cultural perspective. The family-friendly event features plenty of fun for kids of all ages starting at 4 p.m. with face painting, arts and crafts, and an interactive photo booth and continues until 10 p.m. for adults to enjoy drinks and live music.
The headlining feature of this year’s event is the Fort Mardi Gras Processional. The crowds will gather at Esplanade Plaza at 5:30 p.m., and the processional will begin at 6 p.m., led by traditional brass bands. The bands will lead the way to the party on Third Ave., and inside the venues America’s Backyard and Revolution Live, where the celebration will continue.
To direct the creative vision for the event, Damn Good Hospitality has retained creative director Jim Hammond and artist Luru, both visionaries behind the Florida Day of the Dead Skeleton Processional since 2010. Currently more than 50 artists and organizations are creating the oversized puppets and costumes for the Fort Mardi Gras event. “Guests can expect two giant jester heads to lead the way in the front,” says Hammond, “with the King of Fort Mardi Gras, BIG 105.9’s Paul Castronovo and the mayor of Fort Lauderdale leading the event.”
Many of the costumes and puppets on display are part of the mythical Krewe of Nammu, themed after the primordial beginnings of life, including mermaid goddesses. Guests will also view puppets shaped like human-sized anglerfish, giant crawfish, and jellyfish made from oversized umbrellas.
Hammond is also encouraging guests to bring puppets and wear costumes of their own creation as well. “Everyone has a creative part of themselves, and we want our guests so show us their creativity, too”
he says. Artist and parade director Luru lived in Louisiana and brings authenticity to the event, having worked on several New Orleans Mardi Gras parades during her tenure.
After the parade, guests are invited to take part in the festivities that continue until 10 p.m. at America’s Backyard and Revolution Live. A selection of Cajun-style food, frozen drinks (including the notorious “grenade”) and craft beer by sponsor Abita Brewing Company will be available for purchase and craft vendors will be on hand to engage revelers in the spirit of Mardi Gras. Shuck ‘N Dive will fly in 1,000 pounds of crawfish for a boil alongside freshly shucked Louisiana oysters, and guests can participate in a Crawfish Chow Down event and oyster-eating contest.
Street entertainers and musicians will bring the area alive with music, including the sounds of Tasty Vibrations, Bad Apples Brass Band and Big Chief Brass Band. The Krewe Stage lights up with authentic New Orleans sounds and pop-up performance to dazzle and inspire. At the same time, The Bazaar will feature a marketplace of top regional independent artists and artisans with unique wares for purchase.