The First Fridays art walk on Feb. 3 will “laissez les bon temps rouler” when it welcomes Long Beach Mardi Gras to Bixby Knolls. Patrons will have opportunities to enjoy Dixieland music, food, king cake, mask-making, and plenty of beads to keep things festive. Attendees are encouraged to stroll, dance, strut, walk, or skip while following the king and queen of Mardi Gras, 7th District Councilmember James Johnson and 8th District Councilmember Rae Gabeich (above), around Atlantic Avenue.
Revelers may stop into each business to collect the different beads and partake in all the activities being offered, which will include: live art, music, the reunion of the Knolls Ranger and Bixby Belle mascots, improv comedy, drama and dance, Timstrument, interactive art projects, free books, gift items, antiques, Bixby Dixieland, and plenty of the unexpected…all mixed together like gumbo.
Johnson’s First Books at First Fridays at the Dana Branch Library, 3680 Atlantic Ave., will feature the Bixby Belle as the guest reader beginning at 5:30pm.
The Big Red Bus will transport First Fridays attendees to all the participating locations. Bella Cosa, 3803 Atlantic Ave., will provide information about First Fridays, maps, and restaurant recommendations from from 6:30pm to 8pm.
When the businesses start to close, First Fridays After Hours begins across the district. Nino’s Italian Restaurant will feature a Mardi Gras after-party with a mix of music, dancing, and late-night dining and beverages. The Factory and EJ Malloy’s will also go late into the night with dinner, drinks, music, and community mingling. For more information, visit firstfridayslongbeach.com