Mardi Gras comes to Fremont

The Fremont Arts Council will bring New Orleans to the eclectic Fremont community on Feb. 17 with the debut of Carnivale Voudoo Mardi Gras.

All proceeds of the community event will go toward the annual Fremont Solstice Parade, which celebrates its 19th year this summer.

"We fully expect this to be a signature event that we'll continue in the future," said Ricky Gene Powell, the Mardi Gras event's director and co-producer.

Much 'packed into one evening'

Attendees are encouraged to dress up for the event, which will feature zydeco dance lessons by Gator Boy and music by Captain Leroy and the Zydeco Locals, a high-energy band that plays authentic zydeco music from southwestern Louisiana.

There will also be a Haute Trash fashion show, with recycled art and Mardi Gras as a theme.

The Wild Rhodedendrons, a Mardi Gras funk band, will play the remainder of the evening.

At midnight, there will be a parade with giant puppets and the Fremont "Third Line" marching band.

"Try to Hold On to Your Brain," is the parade's motto, noted Peter Toms, co-producer and art director for the event: "It's a lot of stuff packed into one evening."

A safe celebration

The Fremont Arts Council does not anticipate any violence at the community-driven event, as police officers will be on hand to control the crowd.

"We're hoping to keep that Fremont funky, peaceful feeling," he said, adding that the parade and art will be the focus of the event.

The next fund raiser is anticipated to take place in the spring.

"We want the event to grow. We want the event to be more complete and more fulfilling," said Toms of the Solstice Parade. "It's a regional event, but it's still our little neighborhood event, too."

The details

Carnivale Voudoo Mardi Gras will take place at the Theo Chocolate Factory, 3400 Phinney Ave. N. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. There will also be a full bar at this event, co-sponsored by the Theo Chocolate Factory and Hale's Ales. For additional information, call 547-7440 or visit www.fremontartscouncil. org/mardigras/.

In addition, Mardi Gras volunteers are needed for everything from making masks to security to participating in the parade.

To volunteer, e-mail manager@, or to perform as a musician, e-mail carl@fremontarts

Jessica Davis can be reached at

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