The 25th Annual Ojai Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball

Back to the Future! – 25 Years of Memories

 Come, join in, and celebrate a mindbogglingly entertaining Ojai Tradition!

  In this most amazing year 2015 the Ojai Mardi Gras Wake Up! Krewe is hosting their 25th Anniversary Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, March 7th, from 7:30 pm till 1:00 am, at the Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery St. This is the one Ojai party you do not want to miss.

 This year’s silver anniversary theme, Back to the Future, embraces all of the past revelry and wild concoctions of the past quarter Century of Ojai’s best Mardi Gras party. Dr. Emmett Brown will be leading the charge with his Delorean, it’s 2015 after all, so grab your hover board and get your costume going! Don a simple mask, wear one of your past creations, or craft an extravagantly creative ensemble and participate in our costume contest. This year you will have 25 years of themes to work with to help decide your costume:  Prior themes include:

 The Wizards of OddBurning Desire, Mayan Mystery, Greenman’s Magickal Lair, Zydeco Zoo, 60’s LoveFest,, Super Heroes, Alice in Jungleland, The Thrill of Brazil, Tribal Feathers, Big Top Ojai, Garden of Earthly Delights, Deep Space, Deep Sea Cruise, and Mardi Gras Madness, to name a few. 

 If sizzling dance music is your passion. Come on down. Our all-star band has just gotten hotter and better over the years. A unique mix of New Orleans, funk, soul, rock, Cajun dance music is performed by some of Ojai’s world class musicians. Dance your booty off to: Jim Calire on Hammond B-3 Organ, accordion and sax. John Zeretsky, violins, theremin, percussion, and high spirits, Patricia Cardinali on guitar, vocals, percussion; leading the band with her saucy larger than life star power. George Friedenthal, of Raw Silk fame will join in on keyboard with his funky R&B vocals that’s sure to get the dancers trancing. Connie Early, from the band Aquarius, will be bringing her soulful vocals to add to this incredible lineup.  Ron Seba graces us on slide guitar, rhythm guitar, and gravelly vocals ala Dr. John, straight from the swamps of Louisiana.  In the rhythm section we’ve got the smokin’ hot bass of Stan Taylor, Dave Stuart on the drums and wild man Burton Lang on congas and percussion. No one can sit still when this band puts it in gear. Other celestial guest stars will be appearing in this amazing lineup.

 The “Art Fools”, a loose, dedicated and playful collective of artists, sculptors, painters and hangers on, have spent the past couple of months creating imaginative sets, and delightful decorations that will transform the Ojai Art Center into a magical, nostalgic, futuristic, progressive, regressive mask and costume menagerie. The fabulous local art that will cover the walls will be on display in the gallery till the end of March.

 Replenish your energy reserves with our scrumptious Cajun cuisine and partake of salubrious spirits at the no-host bar. Join in the costume contest, the traditional throwing of beads and of course the coronation of this year’s fabulous king and queen, Lanny & Rondia Kaufer (our first black queen!). Come help celebrate our 25th Anniversary! 

 The following day, on Sunday March 8th from 12-3pm, the party continues with a Fais-Do-Do: Cajun Dance Party, a family oriented musical event with Crowfoot  a local Cajun/Zydeco band led by Mark Parson on fiddle and guitar, Lee Rollag also on fiddle and guitar, Rick Borella on bass guitar and Roger Reid on drums.   There will be Cajun dance lessons and a face painter, so bring the grandparents and your kids in costume, plus your dancing shoes for a fun afternoon of art, music and Mardi Gras fun. Admission: $5 adults, kids under 12 free.

 Tickets for the Mardi Gras are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  Advance tickets on-line @  and at the following stores:  Ojai Coffee Roasting Co, Studio Sauvageau, Ojai Creates in Ojai and Cardinali Bros. in Meiners Oaks.  More info: Mardi Gras Hotline: (805) 646-7843.

  The Ojai Mardi Gras Wake-Up! Krewe is a California Public Benefit Non-Profit Organization. Proceeds of the Ball and Fai-Do-Do go to a local family or individual with a medical and/or financial need.




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1 Comment

  • Ojai Mardi Gras is the epic fun-fund-raiser of the year. Created by our beloved, blessed. Saint Lyle Matthews, we carry on in the tradition of ancient celebration. masking, moving, and making a new world as we create it. I am honored to be one of the original revelers. 22 years and rising.

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