Laissez le bon temps rouler at Mardi Gras in Ocean Beach
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 02/16/19 - 08:46 AM | 2949 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bayou Brothers
The Bayou Brothers
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A taste of New Orleans comes to Ocean Beach on Feb. 24, with the second annual Mardi Gras at Winston’s. The fun kicks off at 3:30 p.m. with a second line march up Newport Avenue, complete with brass players and costumed revelers, followed by a musical lineup that’s set to include The Bayou Brothers, Band of Gringos and Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas, plus Go-Go dancers from Sunday Tease.

The night also includes complimentary beads as well as, while supplies last, red beans and rice. There will also be between band activities, such as a zydeco rubboard contest and the crowning of the king and queen of OB Mardi Gras.

The event was founded last year by two longtime friends and OB natives, Paul Bolton, best known as the original owner/founder of area institutions, hair salon The Electric Chair and the Ocean Beach Playhouse, and Ric Lee, leader/drummer of award-winning Cajun-Zydeco band The Bayou Brothers.

“We’re calling this “The sights, sounds and scents of New Orleans,” said Bolton. “As a matter of fact, that last part is why the red beans and rice are so important. The smell of this great food will really add to the atmosphere.”

The inspiration for the event was down to a love of the spirit of Mardi Gras.

“Ric and I have both visited New Orleans and it’s a fun, festive mix of food and music,” Bolton said. “We realized OB was the perfect place for something like this and that there was a void during this time frame. We gave it a try last year and it was a lot of fun”

San Diego has several other Mardi Gras celebrations each year, but Bolton notes the OB edition will have a slightly different flavor. “We want to do our own type of event,” Bolton said. “Something that has an OB feel. So the music will be sort of a mix of Cajun and zydeco, Hendrix-type rock and Irish based tunes.”

He considers Winston’s to be the perfect venue to launch OB Mardi Gras. “It’s someplace I’ve been to many times over the years,” he mused. “I love the sound system and the stage. Having worked on events in the past there with manager Ted Wigler, I knew Winston’s is at the top when it comes to live clubs.”

Band of Gringos guitarist Cody Sherman also considers the area to be a good fit. “OB is the perfect place for Mardi Gras, because it is such a supportive community for music, art, and dance,” he said.

Meanwhile guitarist Jack Laux of the Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas agrees. “OB is the perfect place for Mardi Gras (because of) it’s deep seeded festive and communal nature.” He is hoping to enjoy what is sure to be a party atmosphere. “What we’re most looking forward to is a rollicking good time sharing the stage with some of our favorite local musical brethren,” he said.

Although the second annual OB Mardi Gras is not yet quite in the history books, Bolton is optimistic about the future of the event and is already looking forward. “Next year we hope to include three to four venues in Mardi Gras, so there is even more going on. Then eventually we would like to bring in national acts,” he said. “But that’s for future consideration. The intention is to grow it little by little, as we find out what the popularity of all this is,” he said.

Would Bolton like to see OB Mardi Gras move outdoors at some point? “The weather is a big factor this time of year,” he said. “It makes things hard to plan. That sort of unpredictability is why we’re having this indoors for now.”

OB Mardi Gras: Sunday, Feb. 24 at Winston’s, 1921 Bacon St. 3 p.m. 21 and up. winstonsob.com.

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