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Mardi Gras to sweep through Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 15:06 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:24 30 June 2010

THERE will be international rhythms, dance and delicious food aplenty in the King Street Mardi Gras next month.

Organised by SeaChange Arts, the Tuesday, February 16, event will be a free celebration of food, traditions and culture associated with this global celebration, and will take place on King Street between St Georges Chapel and York Street.

THERE will be international rhythms, dance and delicious food aplenty in the King Street Mardi Gras next month.

Organised by SeaChange Arts, the Tuesday, February 16, event will be a free celebration of food, traditions and culture associated with this global celebration, and will take place on King Street between St Georges Chapel and York Street.

Mardi Gras, literally Fat Tuesday, is a world-wide celebration, known in the UK as Shrove Tuesday.

“It's an exciting programme bringing together professional musicians, artists and local businesses with work from some of SeaChange's most recent community projects,” explains SeaChange Chief Executive, Joe Mackintosh. “The event's a great opportunity to celebrate the growing multicultural nature of Yarmouth as Mardi Gras is a rich in pageantry, colour and customs and is celebrated around the world.”

The traditional English pancake race will get a new twist in Total Crepe. Competitors from local groups including the Lithuanian School, Comeunity and Forum Coffee House will compete, with assistance from professional performers, in a carnival-style race, to produce pancakes for hungry volunteers.

There will be plenty of energetic music from street bands including The Vagaband and Swervyworld, street performers including some crazy bouncing chefs, dance groups and traditional street games. Outdoor elements will culminate in a fire show and a recreation of traditional Lithuanian celebrations.

Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated with masks and there will be the chance to make your own with local artist Bridget Heriz-Smith, in one of several workshops, based in venues along the street.

Food is core to Mardi Gras - a customary last feast before lent. Cafes and bars will be providing international cuisine while French TV chef, Franck Pontais will also be on hand; bringing a Gallic flavour to proceedings with some Mardi Gras inspired cooking demonstrations.

Organisers will be providing a covered area over part of King Street and a number of outdoor and indoor performance and workshop spaces during the afternoon. From around 6.30pm, the activity will move indoors for cabaret and musical performances in Kings Wine Bar.

The street is earmarked as a growing cultural quarter, with the £8m development of St George's Chapel. “We hope the area will become an increasing focus for a growing programme of cultural activities,” said Mr Macintosh. “We're delighted that so many groups and businesses have shown such enthusiasm for the project.”

The event will continue the growing internationalism of SeaChange Arts' work, which includes the Out There festival and the current International Concert Series at the Hippodrome.

The King Street Mardi Gras takes place on Tuesday 16 February, between 3.30pm and 8.30pm. For further information, visit seachangearts.org.uk


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