Friday, February 23, 2001

Giving up nudity for Lent? Ky. touts dry T-shirt contest


Watered-down Mardi Gras lacks parade

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Last year's rowdy Mardi Gras in MainStrasse prompted this weekend's party to move indoors, inspiring new activities, such as bobbing for live crawfish and a dry T-shirt contest.

[photo] No, you won't see floats like this, from last year's Mardi Gras celebration. Public nudity influenced a parade ban for 2001.
(Enquirer file photo)
| ZOOM |
        “We want to be known as a family establishment,” said Shanean Thorpe, promotions and marketing manager for Jillian's. “You can just put on a dry T-shirt and tie it up. Whoever looks the best in it can win $1,000.”

        At 6 a.m. today, Jillian's will kick off what officials boast is “the world's largest Mardi Gras party this side of New Orleans.” For $5, celebrants can enjoy a breakfast buffet from 6 to 10 a.m.

IF YOU GO
MainStrasse Entertainment Association Mardi Gras
   When: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. pub crawl today and Saturday at the Cock and Bull English Pub, Mulligan's, The Village Pub, Chez Nora, Tracy's, Willie's Sports Cafe, Pachinko, Cosmo's and Strasse Haus.
   Jillian's holds its own indoor Mardi Gras party with a live broadcast featuring WEBN's Dawn Patrol and breakfast buffet from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. today. Other events run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. today and Saturday.
    Cost: $10 per night buys a wristband to the nine bars and restaurants.
    Jillian's also sells wristbands for $10 after 6 p.m. each night, but allows Saturday revelers still wearing a Friday band to be admitted free.
   Where: Covington's MainStrasse Village; B&B Riverboats at Covington Landing also is offering special Mardi Gras cruises featuring happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. today and Saturday, Cajun food and a performance by Robin Lacy & DeZydeco.
    Special features: Beads, costumes, hurricanes and a variety of live entertainment.
   Southbank Shuttle will transport revelers to Jillian's every 15 minutes, with stops at the Kenton County parking garage at Third Street and Madison Avenue, the parking lot at Fifth and Bakewell streets, the Embassy Suites garage and the Marriott, all in Covington; and Riverboat Row and Fourth and Columbia streets in Newport.
        Tonight, party-goers can sample Cajun food, live music and plenty of beads within the 86,000 square-foot complex at 1200 Jillian's Way. It continues from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.

        Nearby, nine bars and restaurants in Covington's MainStrasse Village are offering a Mardi Gras pub crawl tonight and Saturday.

        Throughout the MainStrasse Village, some of the shops — especially those selling beads — will extend their hours tonight and Saturday.

        “It's going to be a little different than last year, but it'll still be a lot of fun,” said Tammy Morgan of the Strasse Haus.

        Last year's Mardi Gras celebration, complete with two parades, attracted a record 60,000 revelers — triple the usual number — and prompted complaints about trash, public nudity, underage drinking and public urination.

        By moving the party indoors, participating establishments hope to control the crowds better, organizers said.

        For $10 a night, party-goers can get into nine bars and restaurants.
       



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