Fat Tuesday will banish winter blues

Last year's festival saw a carnival of colour at the Jenny Lind
Last year's festival saw a carnival of colour at the Jenny Lind

THE spectacle of New Orleans Mardi Gras is to explode in Hastings and St Leonards next month when Fat Tuesday brings four days of music and Creole food.

Now in its third year, the colourful festival promises to be bigger and better than ever with lots of new events including a Creole Kitchen buffet at the Stag.

The main event is Fat Tuesday itself on February 21 when eight pubs and bars around the town will play host to a rotating line-up of 16 top bands and acts encouraging people to hop from venue to venue. This will be followed by a lively after show party at the Brass Monkey with Hastings Horns and special guests.

Dressing up in true Mardi Gras fashion is the order of the day – masks, face paint, fancy dress or colourful clothes - anything goes.

In line with the New Orleans theme, a family day called Preservation Sunday is planned for Sunday, February 19, featuring a giant, traditional New Orleans umbrella parade to which everyone is welcome to join.

The day starts with a Jazzy Breakfast in the Jenny Lind at 10am before a gathering of people, umbrellas, drummers and musicians meet in George Street’s Chess Square at noon before parading off to The America Ground for an afternoon of music and dancing. Local arts group Radiator is hosting several umbrella creation workshops over the half term holiday. Phone 01424 435711 for details.

Joint organiser Bob Tipler said “Our Fat Tuesday festival is all about appreciating our local music scene, having a good time and raising some money along the way for local charities.

“This year, in addition to St Michaels Hospice, we are also delighted to be supporting the work of the Seaview project in St Leonards which does such great work for homeless and disadvantaged people in the town.

“Entry is free to all venues but we are suggesting a £2 voluntary donation is made to the sponsored charity collectors on the night.”

Various other events are planned for the festival period from February 18 to 21 and these will be listed on the programme and website at www.hastingsfatuesday.co.uk.