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Artvoice Mardis Gras 2016

Artvoice Mardis Gras 2016
C'mon Baby, Let the Good Times Roll

Dust off your masks and glittery costumes because on Tuesday (2/9) there’s going to be a hot southern celebration in our cold northern city. After two decades of sponsoring Mardi Gras fundraising parties Artvoice continues the tradition with Artvoice Mardi Gras 2016. We’re skipping the Fat Tuesday parade this year to focus on what has always been the nucleus of Buffalo’s Mardi Gras celebration—Allen Street.

LeeRon Zydeco
Chevron Davis

The good news is that reducing the sprawl of the event means our bacchanalian celebrants can enjoy drinking their Hurricanes in solid “urban density”—something city planners love. Although we’re not sure if drunken density is what they had in mind.

In any case, this year’s list of entertainers maintains the high level of revelry that Artvoice Mardi Gras merrymakers have come to expect. That includes Nietzsche’s Mardi Gras hostess the inimitable Chevon Davis—Buffalo’s longest continuously performing female impersonator—who will again be bringing her flamboyant troupe of drag queens to rule the back stage at Nietzsche’s starting around 10pm, give or take. Among the queens scheduled to appear are Atasha Salad, Emory Board, Mary Luchey, and fabulous co-host Malibu Breeze. As always, beads, shenanigans and debauchery will be the order of the performance.

Nietzsche’s has also stacked the deck with hard rockin’ musical entertainment from the Card Cheats, and soulful party sounds from 2013 Artvoice Battle of Original Music Champions Randle and the Late Night Scandals. If that weren’t enough, throw in the inimitable Stripteasers, who are guaranteed to peel away all layers of pretense and lay bare the beauty of hip, contemporary burlesque. And of course, we’ll also be giving away the always-essential Mardi Gras beads.

Meanwhile, a few steps away across Allen Street at Duke’s (DBGB), the Carnival vibe will be in full force thanks to the Louisiana sounds of LeeRon Zydeco and the Hot Tamales. Led by keyboardist/accordionist Ron Davis, LeeRon Zydeco is the premier local practitioner of Zydeco-Cajun roots music, with elements of blues, Tex-Mex, and New Orleans party funk spice thrown into the pot for good measure. Keeping the beat going late into the night will be the SNM Crew—Legendary Milk and Cochise, and the Incredible Scott Down. There will also be a complimentary Cajun buffet and giveaways, and the party starts early, at 5pm, for those who want to start getting their freak on right after work.

For a single five dollar admission charge, revelers can bounce back and forth between either venue, knowing that the cover charge they paid will be going to a venerated Buffalo charity and the original recipient of the funding generated by Artvoice Mardi Gras.

All the money raised from the merriment will go to benefit Hospice Buffalo to provide specialized care for people and families facing the challenges of life-limiting illnesses, including access to a consultant physician, registered nurses, home health aides, pastoral caregivers, social work services, various therapies, drugs and medical supplies and equipment related to the life-limiting illness, back-up hospital care, respite care, trained volunteers, and more. Visit for more information.

While our veteran Mardi Gras merrymakers will have well crafted excuses for why they didn’t come to work the next day, employers may still scratch their heads at the slight uptick in absenteeism in Buffalo on every Ash Wednesday for the past 20 years or so.

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