Festive music and the rich smell of food fills the air as people dance under colorful lights and open sky. Couples sip their champagne with smiles as they watch the band and dancers from their seats, and men and women alike flock to where the cheerful auctioneer swings down his hammer. Right near the heart of Floyd, Virginia, the Blue Mountain School throws their annual fundraiser ball and celebration: The 7th Annual Tom Ryan Memorial Floyd Mardi Gras.
The original Floyd Mardi Gras began with a simple school project. Three students from Blue Mountain School put together a band named Spoon Flight for an assignment. In 2011, these students organized and performed at the very first Floyd Mardi Gras.
For 2016, the festivities will be taking place in front of Dogtown Roadhouse on it’s annual date, February 6 (only days before the infamous New Orlean’s Mardi Gras). Beginning at 6 pm, the Floyd Mardi Gras has a wide variety of activities and entertainment for all ages. Guitarist and singer, Sol Roots, takes center place onstage, alongside other artists such as DJ RahBee and Buddhagraph Spaceship. Both a live auction with “auctioneer extraordinaire” Tom O’Neil and a silent auction will be taking place beside newly added gambling tables.
Prizes will be awarded for the best costume, with plenty of themed food and nearby restaurants for anyone working up an appetite. Even children can have their own share of the fun with the Kiddy Gras Pajama Party at the June Bug Center, so parents don’t have to worry about searching for a babysitter during the fundraiser. Last, but not least, is the crowning of the Floyd Mardi Gras King and Queen, which is sure to be a grand affair all on it’s own.
With great music, delicious food and a plethora of familiar and new activities, it’s easy to see why the Blue Mountain School predicts this will be the “biggest, most diverse Floyd Mardi Gras” yet.
Written by Madison Correiro