Christmas is over and done and Spring is still some way over the hill but the people of Hastings and St Leonards have something to look forward to with the approach of Hasting Fat Tuesday!
This was the third year of the New Orleans themed event and it promised to be bigger and better than ever. Organiser Bob Tipler summed the event up. “Our Hastings Fat Tuesday Festival is all about appreciating our local pubs and music scene, having a good time and raising some money along the way for local charities. In addition to St Michaels Hospice, this year we are also delighted to be supporting the work of the Seaview Project in St Leonards which does such great work for disadvantaged people in the town”.
The main event was on the traditional Shrove Tuesday night which this year fell on the 21st of February. The format was the same as previous years, when participating venues played host to no less than 6 bands each, over the course of a single night. That’s 8 venues and 16 bands all squeezed in between 8PM and closing time at 11PM! The mayhem was built in as the various bands criss-crossed the town to get to their next gig, passing groups of people moving on to the next venue to catch a band they’d like to watch.
Thousands turned out to fill all of the participating bands and venues and generally let the good times roll. Dressing up in true Mardi Gras fashion was the order of the day – masks, face paint, fancy dress or colourful clothes. In line with the New Orleans theme, a family day was also planned for Sunday the 19th of February. “Preservation Sunday” which involved meeting in the Chess Square, George Street at Noon with a pimped umbrella and parading with The Filthy Half Dozen second-line Jazz band and drummers over to The Printworks – a venue in Claremont, on The Hastings America Ground, for an afternoon of music and dancing.