Louisiana Sue is on the loose again, this time planning a party for the Capital City that will hit harder than the hurricanes she grew up with along the Mississippi River.
Split between two locations, the ‘Mardi Gras Meets Carnival’ throwdown on Feb. 26 aims to be an all-out extravaganza of live music, family activities, cocktails and New Orleans and Brazilian food indulgence. Put on by “Louisiana Sue” Ramon, a Sacramento resident who grew up on the outskirts of the Crescent City in Chalmette, it incorporates everything from joyous street dancing to powdered beignets and bowls of bubbling gumbo.
“I know how to throw a party,” Louisiana Sue warned last week.
Sue is co-producing the events with Miguel Castillo’s LIfe Entertainment.
She’ll also be coordinating with Wes Samms and The Curiosity Collaborative, which are hosting the City of Trees Parade, a major Mardi Gras-style march and float spectacle designed to give the day a truly unforgettable feel.
“The City of Trees Parade is all about lifting up Sacramento art, music, and culture,” Samms told SN&R. “The core idea of Mardi Gras is freedom and personal expression … When we celebrate Mardi Gras here in Sacramento, we’re encouraging creativity and fostering pride in our city and in our heritage wherever we are, whoever we are.”
The action this Saturday kicks off with the Mardi Gras Free Family Street Fest, which happens on K Street between Front and Second streets. The live music at this spot includes Sacramento’s popular Element Brass Band with the NOLA CAL Second Liners (performing from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.), the Umbrella Krewe, the BTU Arts Drum Circle (performing at 11 a.m.) the Department of Sound Beat Showcase (performing at 11:45 p.m.), the BTU Arts Rock Band (performing at 12:15 p.m.), Solidarity (performing at 12:45 p.m.), Capoeira by Agua de Beber (performing at 1:30 p.m.), the Sacramento Youth Band (performing at 3:10 p.m.) and the Ophir Prison Band (performing 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Additionally, there will be plenty of activities to introduce kids to the more family-friendly side of Louisiana culture, including mask-making, face-painting and an instrument zoo. A host of Cajun and Creole food booths will bring some especially transporting ambiance to the affair.
The next part of the afternoon is the Big Mardi Gras Party, a ticketed event for 21 and older. It will be at Old Sacramento’s “Freeway Gardens” parking garage next to the tunnel and Pony Express statue – and it runs from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. The food at this fun fest includes empanadas, alligator, frog legs, oysters, po boys, catfish, shrimp, dirty rice, red beans and rice, wings and all variety of sandos. The drinks include the New Orleans cocktail special, the Hurricane, along with Fire on the Bayou, margaritas, cachaca and beer. This part of the day has a knock-out music line-up. It begins with the Big Chiefs at 1 p.m., followed by Peligro Brass at 3 p.m., Agua De Beber at 4:30 p.m., Mick Martin’s Big Blues Band at 5 p.m., the Dirty Chops Brass Band at 6:30 p.m., BeaufunK, featuring Michael Jeffries of Tower of Power, at 8:30 p.m. and Samba Da at 10 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Tickets at Lasuepresents@gmail.com.
“Bring your lawn chairs, dancing shoes and big appetite,” Sue stressed.
Separate but connected to Louisiana Sue’s events on Feb. 26 is The Curiosity Collaborative’s City of Trees Parade, running between 5 and 7 p.m. The parade will begin at 9th Street and Capitol Malland and end on 2nd Street in Old Sacramento. Local chef Patrick Mulvaney and FOX40’s Sonseeahray Tonsall – the daughter of a Louisiana native – have been crowned the parade’s official royalty.
The parade will feature the Deco Fish Twin Mobile Float, the Sac Valley Spark Mobile Lounge Float, the Chuck Norris Chicken Float, the Bottle Cap Car, the Krewe of Trees Costumed Marchers, the NOLACAL Second Liners, Tina B and the Sacramento Soul Line, the Grand Union High Drumline, the Infinite Spin Arial Performers, Bike Party Sacramento, the U.C. Davis Marching Band, CKM Dance Team, Sac Quad Squad, the BTU Arts Youth Brass Band, the Sacramento High Dance and Cheer Team and the SEIU Local 1000 Banner March.
“My hope is that when kids and adults see the amazing performers, costumes, and musicians that live here in the Sacramento area, that they will say, ‘Hey, I want to do that too! I want to play the drums. I want to dance and have all the eyes on me. I want to make a suit out of pipe cleaners and hot glue and walk around like I own the place,’” Samms explained. “I hope it will bring more money to the creative community in Sacramento, lift up the unseen wonders that exist here, and encourage everyone to be proud of who they are and where they live.”