Live music lovers took to Fort Langley streets on Saturday in masks, feathers, and other bright outfits to be part of the third annual Mardi Gras strolling parade, hosted by Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival.
The “spirited” walking parade was led by the six-piece traditional jazz band RazzMaJazz Ensemble, as well as parade marshall and Township Councillor Petrina Arnason.
The parade started bopping from the Fort Langley Community Hall information booth at 10 a.m. and headed down Glover Road to the CN Station.
Due to COVID-19, the maximum amount of participants was 50 people, with each one encouraged to socially distance from one another.
Organizer Karen Zukas said about 15 registered guests came in costume while about 12 others joined in along the way.
“It was great. There were a lot of smiles and joy. People came decorated in costume,” she said.
Zukas explained that the parade, typically the morning kick off to the jazz festival, was being pre-recorded due to technical limitations – it will be published online to officiate the 2020 virtual Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival on Sept. 4 and 5.
“Music is uplifting and we’ve all been missing the live music experience so you can’t help but smile when you see people dancing and hear upbeat music,” Zukas added.
Specialty programming including an All-Star Blues show hosted by Jim Byrnes will be live-streamed this year, as well as a Saturday Night Jazz Concert with Vancouver quintet Mimosa, Juno award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and jazz pianist Laila Biala and Siobhan Walsh.
Other performers including an 18-women jazz ensemble called Sister Jazz Orchestra, the Alvin Brendon Trio, the Kristian Alexandrov Quartet, Rooster Davis & Brad Shigeta Band, and many more.
There will also be a virtual art aspect with locally crafted paintings and sculptures already on display here.
“Festival experience high quality production like a television show,” Zukas noted, adding that support from attendees has been overwhelming positive for holding a virtual festival.
She said the overarching theme and goal for the festival this year is that jazz brings joy.
READ MORE: Mardi Gras parade being made in Fort Langley
People can find out more information including a full schedule of performances at www.fortlangleyjazzfest.com.
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