Big Mama's ready for some Creole-style revelry in Dunedin once again.
The 22nd annual downtown Dunedin Mardi Gras celebration is set to the theme "Big Mama's Ya Ya Etoufee." It kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Pioneer Park at 5 p.m. and runs until 11.
The downtown street party, which celebrates Fat Tuesday, includes loads of food and drink vendors, live performances, and of course, a float parade with lots of bead tossing starting at 7:30 p.m. The event attracts upward of 30,000, according to Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association event organizers.
Here's what you should know if you go:
Road closures may begin as early as 7 a.m. Attendees typically begin arriving as early as 1 p.m. to stake out a good spot along the parade route. The following roads will be closed:
- Downtown Main Street between Broadway and Louden Avenue until 11 p.m.
- Douglas Avenue between Florida Auto Exchange Stadium and Skinner Boulevard until after the parade.
Begins at 7:30 p.m. Route runs along Douglas Avenue from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium north to Skinner Boulevard. (Lawn chairs, pets, coolers and glass bottles are not permitted.)
Mardi Gras King is Commissioner Ron Barnette. Grand Marshall is Alan Taylor, helicopter pilot reporter for ABC Action News.
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- 5 p.m. — The Mudflappers, Florida swampland music inspired by country, bluegrass, gypsy swing and jazz; Pioneer Park stage.
- Headliner, immediately following the parade — T-Broussard and the Zydeco Steppers, Louisiana Creole and zydeco icons; Pioneer Park stage.
What to Bring
Lawn chairs, a photo ID, and cash for souvenirs, food, wine and beer (ATMs will be on site). Children are welcome, but watch for flying beads during the parade. Also bring an umbrella, just in case (see weather forecast below).
Do Not Bring
Pets, coolers and glass bottles.
- Jolley Trolley is running free transportation.
- Taxi Stand location is at Wood Street and Douglas Avenue, one block south of downtown Main Street. (The taxi stand location will be closed during the parade.)
- Bicycle racks are available at these locations.
- Free Parking: (See also, attached map.) Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Edgewater Park (the Dunedin Municipal Marina), across from the Dunedin Brewery, at Highland Avenue and Main Street (behind Pensare and The Living Room), along Milwaukee Avenue, near Skinner Boulevard, and Weaver Park.
- Paid Parking: Pancakes and Parking for $5 at Church of The Good Shepherd
Expect mostly cloudy skies, with a low around 67 and wind gusts of up to 21 mph possible. Also, be warned of a 30 percent chance for rain, according to the National Weather Service. Weather conditions can change up to the minute. Check here for the latest details.
- Mardi Gras Party at Eddie's Bar & Grill
- Mardi Gras Music: Scotty Lee and the TREBLEHooks at Rosie's Tavern
Did we miss a Mardi Gras-related event or party? Add it to the calendar and we'll feature it here where everyone can see it!
More info: Visit the Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association website.
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Editor's note: The information for prohibited items was corrected Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:05 a.m.