Dunedin’s Mardis Gras Festival is back: let the good times roll

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DUNEDIN, FL — Let the good times roll.

Here’s another reason to love downtown Dunedin. A colorful parade of more than 50 floats will wind through Dunedin city center on Saturday evening as the annual Dunedin Mardi Gras event resumes this year after being canceled due to the pandemic.

One of the city’s most anticipated events, it’s the perfect opportunity to kick off the pandemic blues and have one last hurrah before the start of Lent.

The Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association has been gearing up all year round, so dress up in your most flamboyant costumes and get ready to indulge in live music, food, drink and dancing in the streets.

This year’s festival kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday on the main stage at the newly refurbished Pioneer Park, 420 Main St, Dunedin, with a concert by Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers.

Dwayne “Dopsie” Rubin comes from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, Rubin has developed his own energetic style that defies stereotypes and charts a refreshing and distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music.

Check out his music below.

The Jazz Phools will follow from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. These six Tampa Bay musicians are dedicated to energetic performance of hot 20s and 30s jazz, dixieland, New Orleans jazz and swing standards. Click here to watch their performances live.

At 5:30 p.m., 6 Volt Rodeo will take the stage.

From local bars and brewpubs to one-day festivals and swing dances in West Central Florida, 6 Volt Rodeo’s rousing brand of western swing music has drawn hundreds to the dance floor. Check out their music here.

At 7 p.m., all eyes will turn to Main Street, where bustling and whimsical floats designed by Dunedin’s businesses, krewes and civic organizations will parade down the street.

The music will resume at 8 p.m. with Big Easy Revue by T-Bone Hamilton.

With the authentic sounds of the Big Easy, T-Bone Hamilton’s eight-piece brass band performs New Orleans funk and Texas blues, with a dose of jazz. The band pays tribute to NOLA artists like the Neville Brothers, The Funky Meters and Dr Jean.

Click below to sample their sound.

In the final, T Broussard will take the stage at 9:45 p.m., performing zydeco and Creole music.

Bryant Keith “T” Broussard was dancing to Creole music even before he was born. His mother, Mary Jane Ardoin, and his uncle, Bois Sec Ardoin, are Creole accordion legends and his uncle, Carlton Frank, is a world renowned Creole violinist. You may recognize T Broussard’s distinctive sound in promotional radio commercials and on the Discovery Channel. Listen to his music here.

Dunedin’s Mardi Gras festival is free but VIP tickets are always available here.

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