The krewe at Bastille are ready for the 2017 Mardi Gras season. Mardi Gras, one of the most beloved celebrations worldwide, is a staple here in St. Louis, capping off winter by bundling up, taking to the streets of Soulard and drinking until we are warm. Every year, the St. Louis Soulard neighborhood hosts one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the nation, second only to the infamous New Orleans Mardi Gras. Created over a drunken conversation at Hilary’s bar in 1980, Soulard’s version of the celebration – once a simple bar hop – has since grown into the massive event it is known as today. Each year, the theme for the celebration and the floats that carry our beads is uniquely celebrated. 2017 will again bring to life the glitz and prestige that started it all, and the gays are sure to own it: Celebrate Cinema. La Reine, avec ses paillettes, ses perles et ses plumes – she is sure to get you in the spirit.

Bastille, Soulard’s premier LGBT bar, will be hosting an array of fabulous events to mark the occasion with some of the area’s top royalty in live performance. Miss Jade Sinclair – reigning double title holder of Miss Missouri Continental and Miss Missouri Continental Elite – will be teaming up with Miss Tiffany T. Hunter – former Miss Continental – to host performances throughout the day both inside and at the outside bar on Russell. In it’s four years, Bastille’s Mardi Gras show has built a reputation of its own in the Soulard and greater LGBT communities. It is jointly sponsored by Bastille and neighboring favorite, Joannies. The Mardi Gras show will not only have its royal performances to keep you entertained, but the Bastille crew will also be tossing out beads and various other swag to patrons. Between sets, DJ Holy Sparklez will keep you moving by getting the dance music spinning for all the outside revelers at the corner of Russell and Menard. In addition to the inside bar serving up your favorite libations, the outside area will have a large bar set up next to the stage. Bars will be opening early so groups can pregame before the parade. Mardi Gras performances will start around 2 p.m. with a different show at the top of every hour, ending with the finale performance at 5 p.m.

And the events are not only just for one day. Throughout the week of celebrations, you will find Bastille throwing a multitude of great events including its weekly drag show. In its 10th year of production, “Mighty Monday” starts at 9 p.m. This production is the longest running show in the city and is a must to attend. Seats are limited as space for this particular week’s performance is sure to pack the house.

Special appearances will also include former Miss Gay Illinois America, Miss Mariah Candy, and Mahogany Knight, Miss USofA at Large.

Bastille is the place to be for all your Mardi Gras festivities for live performances, a great drink, dancing and just overall debauchery. If it’s a crazy good time you’re looking for, then Bastille @ 1027 Russell is your answer. Laissez les bons temps rouler! V

by Karla Templeton