Mardi Gras festival returns to Bradford and its even bigger

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Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) announced that a “Mini-Mardi Gras” will take place on Ivegate for the second year running.

And it will be even bigger and better in 2020.

Last year’s festival ran for a single day, but Bradford’s Mini-Mardi Gras is entering the new decade with a bang, taking place between Friday, February 21 and Tuesday, February 25.

Read more about last year’s event here…

It will also benefit from the Ivegate “ceiling of light” – paid for by the BID to help brighten up the area.

There will be live music from three-piece band, The Cajun Aces, a “hurricane cocktail” on offer, and some homemade vegetarian gumbo to chow down on.

Other highlights announced so far include a live-stream from New Orleans – the hometown of Mardi Gras – more live music at Romy’s, in Sunbridge Wells, and a charity pancake race on Shrove Tuesday.

Then, it will be rounded off by a big celebration at Al’s Juke Bar, on Darley Street, that evening.

Bradford’s inaugural Mini-Mardi Gras last year was the first event the BID sponsored, since it launched at the start of 2019.

The development group is looking forward to supporting this year’s event too, particularly because it fits with its remit of bringing more people into the city centre and helping to revitalise the night-time economy

BID chairman, Ian Ward, said: “It’s really important that the city centre is seen as a destination for leisure as well as for shopping and working.

“We need more venues, more restaurants and other hospitality providers to create a wider variety of places to eat, drink and spend time here after the shops close to help the whole economy of the BID area to thrive around the clock.

“Events like the Mini-Mardi Gras are ideal ways to help make that happen and we would urge all sorts of businesses to get behind them and join the fun.

“Mardi Gras celebrations around the world are really bright, colourful and full of energy and it would be great if we could stimulate something that one day takes over the whole city centre and brings people in from miles around to take part, especially as we look forward to Bradford’s City of Culture bid in 2025.”

The Brick Box Rooms, which is run by the creative live arts and community interest organisation of the same name, coordinated 2019’s event and will also hold the reins this year.

Brick Box co-director Rosie Freeman said: “We’re thrilled that the BID has felt able to support us again as we set out to take the Mini-Mardi Gras to its next level.

“Mardi Gras is huge fun and its rightly celebrated around the world because it allows people to subvert social norms, dress up, and get together as a community.

“It’s a brilliant excuse to blow away the winter blues with a proper party and we’re hoping that lots more people will come and join us and help to establish the event as an essential part of the city centre’s social calendar.”

For any businesses that want to get involved you should email:

To see further details visit:


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