Gem City Mardi Gras Threauxdown to channel NOLA this weekend

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Gem City Mardi Gras Threauxdown is back and better than ever.

The lineup for the Saturday, March 5 event at the Brightside Music and Event Venue is impressive to say the least. Three bands will be bringing live New Orleans-inspired music to the stage.

The 2nd Line Marching Band, Phil’s Big Ass Brass Band and Solistic will all be playing sets with a variety of musical guests including Sharon Lane, Sean Finnigan, Chris Colt, Trey Stone, Bronson Coats, Rich Reuter, Amber Hargett, Heather Redman, Steve Makofka, Danny Sauers, Phil Bradley-Hutchinson and Michael Bisigg.

Doors open at 5 p.m. with a Mardi Gras parade happening on a one-mile route at 6 p.m. Once that wraps, bands will take the stage for hours of live music.

A special Cajun inspired menu will be available for purchase from Kungfubbq and Devil Wind Brewery out of Xenia will be releasing a special ‘Fat Brewesday Pale Ale’ at the event.

NOLA-inspired sweets will be available for purchase from Baker Benji’s Cakes and Desserts, live painting by Tiffany Clark will take place alongside Psychic Tarot Readings by Marta Mari and Street Magic by Robbin Marks.

“Here in the Gem City, we hadn’t really seen much celebration around the Mardi Gras holiday, and we wanted to show that New Orleans — NOLA— and Dayton share the same mindset in being wrapped around community, tradition, support, and uplifting with celebration,” said Khrys Blank who plays in Solistic and has helped organize the event. “It’s an all-senses evening. Foods, smells, sounds, movement, spiritual, and emotional. Memorable. You’ll literally feel it in your bones. We are beyond excited to be putting this event on. Solistic, with partnership of the Brightside, and all in the community.”

Costumes are encouraged but not required. Other local vendors include Althea’s Lair, Maggie’s Mined, KC Cockerhand Wire Wrappings, Sarah McCoy Morgan and Ami Lane.

The first official Mardi Gras Threauxdown was in 2019 at Yellow Cab Tavern. According to Blank, the show sold out within 30 minutes of the doors opening.

“We walked through the Oregon District with our Sidewalk parade – fully equipped with a second line band made up of a marching drum line and Phil’s Big Ass Brass Band and the patrons of the show – creating that community of family and celebration,” Blank said. “The Brightside is an outstanding venue and partnering with (organizers) Carli and Hamilton Dixon and Libby Ballengee is an honor. Their constant and never-ending improvements to the space beats expectations every time. And here, space shouldn’t be an issue. With the main ballroom having a capacity of 600, we are thrilled to welcome as many people as possible. And though that sounds to be a ton, there is a huge buzz and talk of another sell out. So, please get your tickets in advance.”

Contact this contributing writer at


What: Gem City Mardi Gras Threauxdown

Where: The Brightside Event Space & Music Venue, 905 E. Third St., Dayton

When: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 5; doors open at 5 p.m., the parade begins at 6 p.m., Music begins at 7 p.m.

Cost: $15 presale, $20 at the door

About the Author