Get ready for Hastings’ answer to the Mardi Gras

PREPARATIONS for the town’s answer to the New Orleans Mardi Gras are well under way.

Hastings Fat Tuesday kicks off on Friday, February 28 and runs through to Tuesday, March 4.

But this year there will be no colourful umbrella parade through the Old Town into the town centre.

Organisers Adam Daly and Bob Tipler said the lack of a parade is a one-off and pledged it will return next year.

Adam said: “This year we don’t have funding to run the umbrella parade. With insurances, it costs £5,000 in total to run. Last year on the day we held it, we had pretty horrific weather.”

Both organisers are teaming up with Pierless Music, set up in 2012, with the aim of promoting, and nurturing original local music, to establish the Hastings Fat Tuesday charity.

Another of the charity’s aims will be to promote Hastings as a premier league music tourism destination.

Adam said he hopes the charity will be fully registered by the time this year’s Fat Tuesday festivities kick off.

A new magazine, called The Stringer, will be launched in the Dragon Bar in George Street in the Old Town on Wednesday, February 19 at 8pm to coincide with the open preview of a two-week exhibition of Fat Tuesday photography, also to be hosted at The Dragon.

This year’s Fat Tuesday events start on February 28 at the Jenny Lind in High Street from 8pm with live music from The Cajun Dawgs and Dr Savage.

On the Saturday (March 1) bands will be touring multiple venues in and around Old Town, playing for 15 minutes to entertain crowds. This kicks off at 1pm and runs to 6pm. In the evening is a Grand Mardi Gras Ball at Venuu. On the Sunday (March 2) South by South East will be paying homage to the South by South West Festival, held in Texas. The show at the Union Bar in Cambridge Street will feature the best of young and upcoming local bands.

On the Tuesday (March 4) 16 bands will be playing in venues across town from 8pm to 11pm.

Adam said: “Fat Tuesday has grown year on year since 2010, increasingly bringing people in from out of the town. At the moment no other town in the UK is eccentric enough to hold a Mardi Gras. Last year’s was highly successful.”