February 16, 2009 | Mardi Gras

On Monday, February 23, 2009, Riverwalk Marketplace will host the 23rd annual Lundi Gras at Spanish Plaza with the arrival of Rex, King of Carnival, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The free celebration will again include fireworks on the Mississippi River and musical entertainment by New Orleans' own Living Legends Brass Band, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters and the Topcats.

“Each year at 6 p.m. on Lundi Gras, Rex arrives at Spanish Plaza on a United States Coast Guard vessel and proclaims the official start of Mardi Gras,” says Lynn Walters, senior general manager of Riverwalk Marketplace. “The Lundi Gras celebration is a grand, New Orleans tradition embedded into the fabric of both locals' and tourists' traditions of honoring carnival season. We are proud and honored to again host this celebration at Riverwalk Marketplace.”

The 2009 Lundi Gras entertainment schedule is as follows:

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Living Legends Brass Band

Living Legends Brass Band is a musical group dedicated to the revival of traditional New Orleans Jazz, as well as pushing the musical envelope by producing a cutting edge “funk” sound for all music lovers. All original members share the common bond of being taught music by the great Edwin H. Hampton who fostered their love for jazz and music in general at St. Augustine High School of New Orleans. After their individual departure from high school, each member advanced their musical careers through different paths. Soon after, thru their love of music and fate there began the Living Legends together in New Orleans. Since then, the members have been dedicated to the musical education of young kids as well as performing for lovers of New Orleans jazz/funk in the region.

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters

Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. is the son of Alton Rubin Sr. He played in his father’s band starting in the early 1980s and became the leader of the group after his father’s death in 1993. The family’s roots are in Carencro, but Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. is based in New Orleans. He and the Zydeco Twisters tour the United States and Europe.

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Arrival of Rex, King of Carnival & Fireworks

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The Topcats

The Topcats, who bill themselves as “The Hardest Working Band in the New Orleans Area”, have been a dominate force on the New Orleans Music scene for over 21 years now! Specializing in party music from the 50’s to current hits, The Topcats play an average of 250 shows a year, ranging from concerts and clubs to fairs, festivals, and weddings. Variety of styles and an emphasis on fun and fan participation have allowed the members of The Topcats to make a full time living playing music with unmatched professionalism and reliability!

Lundi Gras at Spanish Plaza is a free music event for attendees of all ages. Delicious New Orleans food and drinks are available for purchase from the vendors on the Spanish Plaza. Absolutely no ice chests and pets are allowed on the Spanish Plaza during Lundi Gras festivities.