This year for Mardi Gras we joined forces with the Galveston Arts Center and the Hotel Artist Lofts to present “The Festival of The Beautiful”. No fences, totally free, sponsored by no one and everyone.
Costumes and handmade gifts replaced store bought jester hats and plastic beads. Eric’s wizard costume came complete with a driftwood staff, barnacle incense holder, and beach flotsam necklaces to give to strangers and friends.
We left the GAR compound and joined up with the Hotel Artist Lofts. Becky Major was playing the Euphonium!
Dennis Nance, Galveston Arts Center curator, looked amazing in his handmade costume and streamers. GAR resident, Fidencio Martinez, was spectacularly turned out as a potted monstera philodendron, and carried our Ark for the fire.
Sallie and GAR resident Pat Palermo carried the official parade banner.
We paraded downtown, gathering revelers as we went. We quickly outgrew the sidewalk, walked the wrong way up a one-way street, and took over an official parade route for a few blocks, returning to the GAR compound for the rest of the Festival.
We had a ritualistic burning of our Festival Ark. Each group brought their own offering for the fire. In the fire our ashes all became one.
Studded Left from Houston kicked off the show!
And Vockah Redu from New Orleans brought it all home! And a very special thank you goes to Michael Stuart Allison for the projections and sound. A second very special thank you to Dan Schmahl, who took all our photos, and therefore appears in none, or all, symbolically, depending on how you look at it.
Thanks to everyone who came out, made costumes and gifts, and brought the festive spirit. It was a truly special night. Hope to see y’all next Mardi Gras!