The music of a New Orleans-style marching band rang out at 7 a.m. in the Westside neighborhood this morning, and you know what that means. Mardi Gras!
There are club crawls in Westport and around various blues clubs, but 18th Street is where it's at. Or is it? Last year, as with previous years, folks gathered and got their freak on at 18th and Wyandotte, then paraded down to the Mutual Musicians' Foundation at 18th & Vine. It was a great time until the fucking police showed up and pulled over the floats and made everyone parade on the sidewalk.
Heartbreakingly but not surprisingly, the parade's not happening this year. But I expect more or less the same crowd will be out from 8 to midnight enjoying some free music at the Blue Room and across the street at a fairly new restaurant called Harper's (no relation). The Jazz Museum press release says, "The evening's offerings include a New Orleans-style buffet at Harper's*, specials on beer, wine & wells at the Blue Room, and live entertainment at both venues. Free and open to the public." I mean, I'm hoping the same crowd will be there. I would hate to see the 18th Street Mardi Gras tradition die.
Photo by Keanon Liggatt