-The following first appeared with a larger spread of photos in the March 2nd issue of The Floyd Press
The annual Floyd Mardi Gras is an epic night for Floyd, but it’s not just for Floydians. Saturday night’s Mardi Gras attendees came from far and wide – from Lynchburg, Clifton Forge, Martinsville – as well as from neighboring counties.
Wearing feathers and glitter, masks and beads, a parade of costumed attendees filled the upper level of the Winter Sun and Dogtown Roadhouse building for the 8th annual Costume Ball, a signature fundraiser for the Blue Mountain School.
This year, Mardi Gras organizers premiered Krewe du Bleu, an exclusive pre-show meal that featured an authentic Mardi Gras menu prepared by chef/food historian Richard Perry of Classic Catering and the Longfin Grille in Salem.
“Oh my goodness, it was exquisite,” said Ben Flint, a diner from Roanoke. The fare included Oyster and Crab Bienville Casserole, Cajun Kale and Collard Gumbo with Homemade Andouille, Delta slaw, Traditional Po’boys, King Cake and more.
A stage for acoustic performances complimented the dinner event. A Blackjack table and a silent auction display of donated Floyd arts and crafts, gift certificates and more were also set up in the Winter Sun Clothing Store.
In the Roadhouse, the sold-out celebration featured the music of Floyd-based Jam Sandwich, Blacksburg-based Badunkafuk and two sets by Sol Roots with a Lagniappe all-star cast of surprise musician guests.
Dance performances are a traditional part of Floyd Mardi Gras entertainment, and this year they were a highlight. Throughout the night, Katie Wells, Leia Jones, and the Gyroscopic Belly dancers performed to an enthusiastic crowd.
But the dance performers weren’t the only ones moving to the beat. During band sets practically everyone in the house got in on the dancing act, filling the Roadhouse dance floor and sometimes spilling into the aisles.
As the night went on, the crowd’s anticipation to see the 2017 crowning of the King and Queen grew. With the help of past Mardi Gras royalty, event promoter Jamie Reygle, crowned community volunteer Grateful Steve (Messinio) as King and Shamama (Siobhan Lowe) as Queen. Shamama, a past Blue Mountain School parent, was also the Mardi Gras emcee and judge for a best costume contest.
Before introducing Sol Roots’ second set, Shamama thanked the crowd for coming and reminded them how important it is to support Blue Mountain School, Floyd’s independent Contemplative Progressive School that fosters creativity and emotional intelligence.
“We couldn’t have done it without you,” organizer Jamie Reygle later said. This is not a platitude. The Mardi Gras would not be possible without the contributions—big and small—of so many people.”
By Monday, Reygle reported that Fundraising figures weren’t in yet. “But “I can tell you that there will be a lot of happy kids running around Blue Mountain School next year who wouldn’t have been able to attend without your contribution of support.
-See more photos and video clips HERE.
Sol Roots performed two sets with an all-star list of guests.
I just now noticed that Shamama’s dress was made of Barbie dolls!