Sunday, February 1, 2009

Universal Mardi Gras - 2009

Universal Orlando has announced its lineup of entertainers for this year's Mardi Gras celebration, which kicks off Feb. 7. There's a twist to the scheduling. Instead of the usual Saturdays-only routine, one Sunday (Feb. 14) and one Friday (March 27) has been added to the mix. The event runs through April 18 at the Universal Studios theme park.

UPDATE: Where will these concerts be held, you might ask. I did. After all, the usual "boneyard" location has spent a good deal of time behind construction walls for months. Here's the park's official stance: "Universal Orlando will debut a new, permanent live-performance venue during this year's Mardi Gras season. More details, along with the venue's opening date, will follow soon." So they have a plan, but won't give dates yet. Stay tuned.

Anyway, the diverse list of performers is includes an American Idol winner, country artists, back-in-the-day acts, rap and pop.

Feb. 7: KC and the Sunshine Band

Feb. 14: Frankie Valli & the Four Season

Feb. 15: The Village People

Feb. 21: Ne-Yo

Feb. 28: Pat Benatar (featuring Neil Giraldo)

March 7: Barenaked Ladies

March 14: Montgomery Gentry

March 21: Collective Soul

March 27: Boys Like Girls

March 28: Kelly Clarkson

April 4: MC Hammer

April 11: Trace Adkins

April 18: Nelly

As in the past, New Orleans bands will play in the theme park's French Quarter replica. They are:

Big Red and the Zydeco Playmakers (Feb. 7), Lil Malcolm and the House Rockers (Feb. 14-15), Daddy Mac Blues Band (Feb. 21), Chris Klein and the Boulevards (Feb. 28), Rockin Jake (March 7), Mem Shannon and the Membership (March 14), Honey Islands Swamp Band (March 21), Jumpin Johnny Sansone (March 27-28), Soul Project (April 4), Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers (April 11), Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers (April 18).

Multi-day tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Kissimmee Gust Services at 877.273.5636 or by going online at:

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