The music, foods, costumes and revelry of Mardi Gras will take a Minnesota twist at a “Loondi Gras” fund-raiser for VSA Minnesota, the state organization on arts and disability.
Lundi Gras (the Monday before Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday) is taking on Minnesota’s “loon” look in a mash-up of Mardi Gras and Minnesota cultures at Gaviidae (the family genus of the loon species) Common. The fifth floor of its atrium in downtown Minneapolis, graced by a huge loon and waterfall, will host the fund-raiser on Monday, February 9 (the week before Mardi Gras due to the intervening Presidents Day on the 16th) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Louisiana-influenced and Minnesota-created foods will include Crawfish Hotdish, Gumbo with Wild Rice, Hurricane Jello shots, Red Beans & Rice with Spam, King Cake in Bundt pans, Blackened Walleye fingers, Pra-loons and more. Musicians will include the Jack Brass Band and others playing Cajun, Zydeco, Dixieland and other great music from New Orleans – again with a Minnesota angle.
Anticipate a costume contest, mask-making, face-painting, dancing, impromptu “second-line” parades and “naughty but Minnesota nice” high energy compared to the crowds and debauchery of Bourbon Street. A silent auction, too, will raise funds for the statewide organization, whose mission is to make the arts more accessible to people with disabilities. ASL interpreting and audio description will be available for participants with hearing or vision loss.
Tickets – $40 and $25 for students and people on limited incomes – will be available January 6, the first day of Carnival season. So, get ready to let the good time roll – Laissez les bon temps rouler – you betcha!
Loondi Gras logo by Anita Zurn
Jon Skaalen, VSA Minnesota Access Programs Coordinator
Toll-free in MN: 800-801-3883
Accessible Arts Calendar: http://vsamn.org/community/calendar/
Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts
528 Hennepin Ave., Suite 305, Minneapolis MN 55403