This weekend will mark the 18th annual Spanish Town Mardi Gras Ball. If you were among the chosen not-so-few lucky enough to snag their tickets up early, you’re in for a serious treat. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, February 03th. Live music starts at 7:30 and will be provided by George Porter, Jr. and the Runnin Pardners, who will be opening for Marcia Ball. Dress will be costume or “creative formal”. Spirits will be high (and flowing mightily) all night. If you are one of the uninitiated, here’s some information on what to expect:
Table Decorating: If you want your table to look unique (and, really, who doesn’t), you will be able to decorate your tables on February 03, from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm. Free parking will be available at this time in the B2 garage on St Phillips St off of Government Street, although no one will allowed in the loading dock area without a pass. Be forewarned: if you do not have a pass already, you probably won’t be able to find one. The best way to get parking without one, unfortunately, is to get up bright and early and head downtown. The good news is that you can check out the spectacular Farmer’s Market on the way (yes, they serve coffee). And you won’t need to cart your stuff around; feel free to drop off your things in the front then go park. This early start will pay off later in the evening, though, since you can bring in your ice chest at the time of the decoration, saving valuable time/energy you can later devote to your costume. Keep in mind that there will be no electricity to power decorations, and that there are certain restrictions to the decorations (no helium balloons, no staples). Otherwise, let your mind run wild (and your beer chill nicely)!
When it comes time to head to the River Center for the night, parking will be even more difficult…and traffic will be worse. Head out early, and carpool if at all possible. There are a lot of taxi/limo companies around, and the price for a group is really reasonable. Just book them early, and head out before the traffic gets crazy (for your budget’s sake, as well as your general feeling of well-being’s). The taxi/limo solution is a great way to get around getting stranded because your designated driver has been doing jello shots all night. Book your ride early, and ensure everyone can have a great time worry-free.
Make sure you check www.spanishtownmardigras.com for more specific information, including the location of your table. Once you enter the River Center, it’s hard to get your bearings, so make sure you know where your ice chest is. If you’re a smoker, make double sure you know where your stuff is. There is no smoking inside the River Center, and no drinking allowed outside; the constant walking to and from your nicotine/whiskey fixes can get tiresome if you don’t know where you’re going, and you don’t want to use up all your energy early. Why? The bands, of course! In case you don’t know them, or need a refresher course, here’s a brief introduction to the two main acts:
Spanishtown Mardi Gras 2007 George Porter jr.A brief look at New Orleans native George Porter, Jr.’s career will prove that he is unmatched and in a league of his own. His career has spanned nearly thirty years, all the while working with artists as diverse as Robbie Robertson, Paul McCartney, Tori Amos, and Earl King.
Now, after more that 25 years of separation, Art Neville, Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter Jr., and Leo Nocentelli are returning as the supergroup that put New Orleans funk on the map: The Meters. The Meters’ unique place as a touchstone for countless jam bands, and as one of the most sampled groups in all of hip hop and pop music, has kept its relevance to contemporary audiences in a way that few other 70’s groups can claim.
For more information, check out www.georgeporterjr.com.