Costumes encouraged for Mardi Gras Oak Bay

Bijoux du Bayou returns for dance party Friday at the Upstairs Lounge

Bijoux du Bayou get feet moving in the Upstairs Lounge during a Mardi Gras celebration Friday.

Bijoux du Bayou get feet moving in the Upstairs Lounge during a Mardi Gras celebration Friday.

Celebrate Mardi Gras a little early in Oak Bay as a trio of performers and a dance floor transform the Upstairs Lounge at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre into party central.

“We’re planning to have three bands so that’s definitely different than we’ve done before. We’ll have beads for everybody and we’re encouraging costumes, and we’ll have prizes for the best male and best female as well as other prizes,” said producer Marie Bachand of Beacon Ridge Productions. “There will be a nice dance floor and a party atmosphere. Because it is a restaurant they always are very good about building a menu around a theme.”

The usual menu is augmented with a creole chicken burger and cajun chicken salad for the Mardis Gras dance party on Feb. 24. Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 28.

In Oak Bay, the Friday night celebration includes Cajun music with Bijoux du Bayou, Daniel Cook & The Radiators and the Bastion Band Duo.

Bijoux Du Bayou makes a return Upstairs, bringing high-energy dance music combining Cajun, Zydeco, Swing and Calypso, featuring fast-paced tunes to a slow lovers’ waltz.

“They are phenomenal, they are as good as it gets really,” Bachand said. “We’re having them back and just to make it a party atmosphere we actually asked Bijoux du Bayou who we should have as complementary bands. They suggested Daniel Cook & The Radiators, an original West Coast roots group.”

With Robert Cromwell’s subtle and solid grooves, Ryan Rock’s funk-driven bass, Roger Plant’s ripping lead guitar, and Daniel Cook’s well-crafted song writing, their contagious melodies and timeless stories blend into an indie-folk, funk and country mix.

Bastion Band Duo warms up the dancing crowd with its traditional New Orleans jazz, roots country, blues, and R & B.

“It’s going to be a fun evening. We’ve got such support for the concert series that it’s nice seeing people come back week after week,” Bachand said. “The real bold people will get into costume and come out dressed up.”

The Mardi Gras Dance – with prizes for costumes and more – is Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Lounge at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee St.

Tickets are $20 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop, Oak Bay Recreation Centre and online at Tickets are $25 at the door, which opens at 6 p.m.