Mardi Gras Parade, and Fiesta with Diz Watson, Mama Tokus and many more

Mardi Gras Parade, and Fiesta with Diz Watson, Mama Tokus and many more

Saturday 18 February 2023
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre


Mardi Gras Parade: 6pm Free

Get out your most colourful outfit, a lantern or a torch and come and join us at 6pm at the Arts Centre where we’ll have The Big Noise Band from Taunton (pic below right), plus our own Street Band that’s been gathering over the last few weeks. We’ll also have lit up puppets and sculptures to guide us around Cleder Place, to celebrate this annual festival.  If you’d like to come and help make some of these, come to the Arts Centre on Friday 15 Feb, between 11am – 3pm (drop in). This isn’t a formal thing – just anyone who’d like to create something. We have some things we saved from previous Mardi Gras, plus other things (paper, scraps, glue, willow, etc), and lots of battery LED light packs – or bring things along.

MARDI GRAS FIESTA at 7.30pm:  Book here now: £15 full price • £10 or £7 if you prefer – please pay what you can*

Fat Tuesday (the translation of Mardi Gras) gets celebrated all over the world, and it’s no different in Ashburton, where the arts centre is planning music, arts and even a parade to mark the date. In the UK, we call the day Shrove Tuesday – falling on 21 February this year – but it means the same around the world: it’s the beginning of Lent – a period of fasting before Easter.
It’s Fat Tuesday (or Pancake Day) because everyone’s trying to use up food ingredients before Lent arrives. Carnival and parading built up around the date as people indulged in the foods and behaviours they were about to leave behind during Lent. The word carnival is derived from the Latin ‘to remove meat’.

One of the most famous places that celebrates Fat Tuesday with parades is the USA city of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and blues. So on the weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday, Ashburton is going to join in the fun with a Mardi Gras Fiesta including a parade and some appropriate (and funky) music.

After the parade we have:
New Orleans-piano specialist Diz Watson leads a clutch of South West musicians for an evening of hot’n’sticky swingin’ boogie-woogie. New Orleans piano is known for its intricate flourishes over funky rhythms and Diz Watson is one of Britain’s best keysmen at this style.
Diz will be joined by:
• saxman Andy Williamson
• Mama Tokus – local soul-jazz-blues performer
• Rick Worthy – rock’n’rollin’ Ashburton-based guitar man
• Dave Hatfield – double bassist from Glastonbury
• Dick Jude – funky drummer
• Bob Martin – damn funky trombonist

In between the boogie-woogie, half a dozen performers aged 15-18 from a South London youth project twinned with Shallowcross farm near Widecombe will take to the stage for some spoken word, rap, art, DJs and hiphop.



* See Access, Tickets & Finding Us for more about why there are three ticket prices, plus other useful info about coming to events at Ashburton Arts Centre.