For 22 years, Atlantic Beach has been welcoming party goers for its annual Gloucester Mardi Gras festival. Modeled after southwest Louisiana’s RURAL Mardi Gras, this all-day event features plenty of the usual celebratory antics as well as a few locally inspired ones. Expect copious amounts of food, bands, and bead tossing, for example. You’ll also find mask- and hat-making booths, perfect for creating the ideal hat to accompany your outfit (preferably costume for those wanting to get into the spirit of the holiday!).
This year’s event-scheduled for February 15-begins early Saturday morning with live music. Afterward, you and the rest of the family can load up on some delicious grub, including gumbo, deep-fried turkey, crawfish, and some delectable side dishes, too. Around 3:00pm, Unknown Tongues will take the stage to kick off the remainder of the festival. Deep-rooted in their love of Cajun music, this four-person group embraces Louisiana-style Zydeco and continues to evolve with each new instrument and musician added to the ever-changing band.
After Unknown Tounges’ set list wraps up, your little one can join in on the fun with the children’s King and Queen coronation as well as a march and bead toss. Of course, feel free to bring along your own instrument, too, if the mood strikes you; attendees are encouraged to partake in the festival’s ongoing shenanigans. Plus, the event is free to the public in part for helping keep the Unknown Tongues afloat. So come, eat, and celebrate the arrival of Mardi Gras during this all-out affair.