The magic of Mardi Gras is heading back to Bradford city centre
THE vibrancy and colour of the Mardi Gras is heading back to Bradford city centre next month.
Last year’s inaugural Mini-Mardi Gras, based in and around Ivegate, was the first event sponsored by Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) when it officially launched at the start of 2019.
It was such a success that the BID has agreed to support its return this year and organisers are hoping even more visitors and venues will join the fun.
“We always knew it had the makings of a successful event and we were thrilled that the BID’s first foray into helping to bring the city centre alive went off so well,” said BID manager Jonny Noble.
“The organisers did a great job and it’s important that we help them to grow organically, so this year’s event has the potential to build on last year’s brilliant start and we hope it will continue to grow in the years to come.”
The 2020 Mini-Mardi Gras will benefit from the Ivegate “ceiling of light” which the BID also paid for to help brighten up the area over the festive season and while the evenings are still dark.
“We think it will give Ivegate a fantastic atmosphere in the evenings and help to create a real carnival spirit,” said Mr Noble.
“The street has seen more new venues open since last year so the potential is there for a really fun-packed and enjoyable event.”
The Mini Mardi-Gras is being co-ordinated by The Brick Box Rooms, which is run by the creative live arts and community interest organisation of the same name that has staged festivals and events across the country.
Brick Box co-director Rosie Freeman said: “We’re thrilled that the BID has felt able to support us again as we set out to take the Mini-Mardi Gras to its next level.
“Mardi Gras is huge fun and its rightly celebrated around the world because it allows people to subvert social norms, dress up, and get together as a community.
“It’s a brilliant excuse to blow away the winter blues with a proper party and we’re hoping that lots more people will come and join us and help to establish the event as an essential part of the city centre’s social calendar.”
The event will run from Friday, February 21, to Tuesday, February 25.
It will kick off with live music at The Old Crown, followed by a full day of live music on the Saturday at The Brick Box Rooms, including The Cajun Aces, a three-piece band which plays traditional Cajun music from the French-speaking rural districts of South West Louisiana. Most of their songs are in patois Cajun French, featuring two-steps and waltzes.
Partygoers will be able to enjoy a “hurricane cocktail” and some homemade vegetarian gumbo with freshly-baked cornbread from Bradford’s own Beat & the Pulse, while they watch a live stream from New Orleans, hometown of the famous Mardi Gras festival.
Other highlights announced so far include more live music at Romy’s, in Sunbridge Wells, on Sunday; a menu of special brightly-coloured Mardi Gras cakes at Lefteris coffee and tea room on the Monday and a charity pancake race on Shrove Tuesday before Al’s Juke Bar, on Darley Street, celebrates Mardi Gras on the day of the festival itself.
More details will be announced soon (see bit.ly/mini-mardi-gras) and businesses who would like to get involved in the festivities are asked to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell the organisers what they plan to do so they can be added to the programme.