Tucson Mardi Gras holds its second annual festival on February 26

From the creators of The Slaughterhouse comes a taste of New Orleans. The Tucson Mardi Gras Festival begins its second year on Saturday, February 26.

The free festival includes authentic Cajun food, drink specials, and parades.

Sierra Martin is the event manager for Tucson Mardi Gras. Due to COVID-19, the festival has not resumed in 2021, but they are excited for an even bigger party than last time, according to Martin.

Martin described the first festival in 2020 as a huge success even though it rained all day.

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“Tucson Cajuns and Mardi Gras fans always showed up with coats and umbrellas and the event was a huge success,” Martin said.

Bobby Sutton is the creator of the festival. He grew up in Louisiana and wanted to bring a taste of Mardi Gras to Tucson. The energy of Tucson is similar to the excitement of New Orleans, according to Martin. Everyone wants to have a good time surrounded by food, music, and interesting people.

Festival highlights include all-day live music, parades, drink specials, and the crawfish boil.

“We drive in hundreds of pounds of live crawfish for a massive crawfish boil. There is a full bar with traditional hurricanes and hand grenades and we have private suites with Bourbon Street balconies,” Martin said.

With its convenient location to the University of Arizona, students can experience Mardi Gras culture far from Louisiana.

The 2022 site map shows where to find the day’s activities. Courtesy of Sierra Martin

Alan Tran, a junior studying physiology at UA, attended the festival in its opening year.

“It was basically a scaled down version of what it was in New Orleans,” Tran said.

Tran said the live music and food were great, especially since many of her hosts had New Orleans ties. He recommends the event to his friends to experience something new and different from other events held in Tucson and he looks forward to attending this year and years to come.

Bruce Guercio is a member of the Cornerstone Band who will perform at 3:45 p.m. Saturday for the event. The band have been together since 2006, and they played two years ago in the rain but the crowd was still electric.

Guercio described the band as a variety dance cover band. At the festival, they will focus on Bayou-inspired songs such as Hank Williams Sr.’s “Jambalaya” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Swamp Music.” Guercio and the band are excited to play Tucson Mardi Gras again.

Join the Tucson community in celebrating Mardi Gras on Saturday, February 26 at 10 a.m. Check the Tucson Mardi Gras website for more information and upgraded tickets.


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