Long Beach Mardi Gras crowns Justin Rudd to lead Saturday parade

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Community Leader Justin Rudd was officially anointed Grand Marshall of the Long Beach Mardi Gras at a coronation ceremony held Tuesday (Fat Tuesday), February 16 at Kavikas Bar and Grill in downtown Long Beach.

As Grand Marshall, Mr. Rudd will reign over the Long Beach Mardi Gras festival this weekend Saturday, February 20 at Rainbow Harbor. In his duties he will officially open the Long Beach Mardi Gras celebrations and ride in and preside over the inaugural Long Beach Mardi Gras parade.

The theme for this year’s Parade is “Mardi Gras Loves Long Beach”, where community groups, nonprofit organizations and other community members are invited to share what they love about Long Beach. As parade participants stroll, bike, dance and roll their way around Rainbow Harbor, they will partake in the Mardi Gras tradition of “Throw”—tossing beads and trinkets to the crowd, free for onlookers.

And Mr. Rudd was a perfect fit as the first Grand Marshall, according to Festival Director Jeff Williams, “Justin is one of the premier examples of building community in Long Beach. He has been doing it for many years, always in his own way, and always to make his community and Long Beach a better place to live. We are honored to have him as our very first Grand Marshal in our inaugural Long Beach Mardi Gras Parade.”

The parade is a new addition to the Long Beach Mardi Gras, an all day event that brings the music, dancing, food, drink, beads and fun of Mardi Gras to Downtown Long Beach.

Shoreline Village, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Pike will all be offering free entertainment and activities for the whole family throughout the day as part of the celebration and local merchants will be offering the food and drinks of Louisiana to give a true taste of New Orleans.

The ‘Mardi Gras Funky Fête’, a night‐time concert with Mardi Gras music from The METERS Experience featuring Leo Nocentelli and local funk band Delta Nove, along with Samba and Second Line dancing, DJ Dennis Owens, a costume contest hosted by local icon Jewels, Cajun food from Gladstone’s, Hurricanes and lots of beads will make you feel like you are celebrating on Bourbon Street!

Parade applications are available online and will be accepted until Thursday, February 18. Costumes, themes, creativity and of course beads are encouraged! Tickets to the Mardi Gras concert, schedule of events and other details are on the website at www.lbmardigras.com or contact Jeff Williams at eljefeca@earthlink.net or (310) 562‐6665.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! See you at the Long Beach Mardi Gras!

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