If you’re unfamiliar with BlackRock Rocks Mardi Gras, it’s an annual fundraiser and celebration of music organized by a group of local musicians, artists and enthusiastic supporters of both. Originally formed to address the immediate needs of Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans, successive events have helped fund organizations dedicated to the revitalization of New Orleans’ musical community, because of its importance to BlackRock Rocks’ founders.
Since many of BlackRock Rocks’ members call Bridgeport home, they decided to turn their attention to nonprofits in their own backyard. In recent years, funds raised have gone to support arts and music programs like Original Works, Inc., an arts training laboratory, and Music 4 More, which donated collected instruments to Bridgeport Public Schools. This year’s event beneficiary is K.E.Y.S. (Kids Empowered by Your Support), which provides music lessons to underserved students.
BlackRock Rocks presents its 9th Annual Mardi Gras Fundraiser this Saturday, March 1, at multiple venues in the heart of Black Rock, including Acoustic Café, Fire Engine Pizza Company, Tautog Tavern, and B.R.Y.A.C. All venues are located on Fairfield Avenue within short a walking (or dancing) distance. Doors open at 1 p.m. and close at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 2. Tickets are $25 at the door of any of the four venues and allow admission to all throughout the event. Children between 12-20 years of age enter for $5, and children under 12 enter for free. Children under the age of 21 are welcome from noon until 8:30 p.m.
There will be New Orleans inspired dishes and drink specials, face painting, raffle prizes and a French Quarter themed photo booth. Performers include Roots of Creation, Pete Francis of Dispatch, The Primate Fiasco, Sophistafunk, Renard Boissiere with Nardy Boy, Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why, the School of Rock Fairfield House Band, and seventeen more musical acts in a variety of genres. A complete list of performers and more information can be found at www.blackrockrocks.org.
If this will be your first time attending this all day, all night extravaganza, here are a few helpful tips:
1. Download and print the BlackRock Rocks Mardi Gras schedule: www.blackrockrocks.org/schedule.
22 bands are performing at four different venues at this year’s event — showtimes are staggered for the most part, but to maximize your musical pleasure you’ll want to catch as many as you can. Consult your friends and make a plan about what to see. You don’t have to stick to the plan, but you’ll kick yourself if you miss the band you really wanted to see because you didn’t have one.
2. Have a hearty breakfast. BlackRock Rocks Mardi Gras is a daylong event, so the most important meal of the day is especially important today, and Black Rock has no shortage of eateries. Local favorites include Home On The Range, Harborview Market, and Walrus + Carpenter. Don’t forget to start your day like a true New Orleanian — Source Coffeehouse is serving NOLA-style chicory coffee, this Saturday only.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. All BlackRock Rocks Mardi Gras venues are within a short walking distance and you’ll most likely do a lot of dancing, so prepare to spend several hours on your feet. Leave the heels at home. Thank me later.
4. Dress warmly. It’s still winter. This is Connecticut, not New Orleans. You probably won’t spend too much time outside in the cold, but you’ll want a coat to keep you warm as you walk from venue to venue.
5. Pace yourself. Because hurricanes. The boozy kind.
6. Have a designated driver. Because hurricanes. The boozy kind.
7. Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)
BlackRock Rocks 9th Annual Mardi Gras Fundraiser
Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Time: 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Tickets: $25, available at all four venues
Children between 12-20 years of age enter for $5, and children under 12 enter for free.
Children under the age of 21 are welcome from Noon until 8:30 p.m.
Info: 203-400-9509, www.blackrockrocks.org