Time to stir up the Gumbo again.

Gumbo Ya Ya,  Mardi Gras in The District, returns to downtown Rock Island Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11, bringing the atmosphere of New Orleans to the Quad-Cities for its 24th consecutive year.

A variety of New Orleans style music will be performed over the weekend including zydeco, blues, and more. Louisiana style food will also be available through various vendors and a “French Quarter” marketplace will offer gifts and novelty items. A street magician, David Casas, will perform David Blaine-style tricks among the crowd on Friday night (which will be filmed and posted here on www.QuadCities.com) and 500 pounds of beads will be thrown to the masses by everyone from cajun cooks to musicians to people dressed as vampires.

The cost to get in is $9 for a one-night ticket and $14 for a two-night ticket, with kids 12-and-under getting in free. The gig starts at 5 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday and ends at 12:30 a.m. both nights.

“I’m really excited about the event and really excited we’re going to have great weather both nights,” said Micaela Booth, events coordinator for the District. “The last couple of years the weather hasn’t been the best and people haven’t had the chance to fully explore the event the way they should be able to, but this year the weather is looking awesome so we’re excited to give people the chance to come down and have the full Gumbo Ya Ya experience.

“This year we’ve added some new things to it to make it really spicy,” Booth said. “We’re going to be serving a specialty beer from a local brewery, Bent River Brewing Company, the YaYa Lager, and we’ve got a couple of new performers we think people are going to really like.”

One of those is Colin Lake, a Seattle native who moved to New Orleans about eight years ago where he discovered and pursued his talent and love for roots music. Another is Matthew Curry, who lends a hot kick to a soulful sound.

colin lakeReturning band favorites include Creole Stomp, Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe, Environmental Encroachment, Hurricane Gumbo, and local band Backwater Bayou Band.

Food vendors heighten the atmosphere serving gumbo, beignet sticks, jambalaya, and lemonade. For those looking for a different flavor festival. Thai and Greek options will also be available. A variety of craft and merchandise vendors will give the feel of the “French Quarter Marketplace” with items including handmade jewelry, ethnic clothing, incense, novelty items, and festival merchandise. Official Gumbo Ya Ya t-shirts will be on sale for $20; along with other Mardi Gras gear.

Gumbo Ya Ya is presented by The District, and sponsored by Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, Holiday Inn Rock Island, WHBF, Dispatch / Argus, Rexroat Sound, Dphilms, River Cities Reader, Hi-Nee Huts, B & B Draintech, 101.3 KISS FM, ALT 104.5, and, of course, your pals at www.QuadCities.com.

“It’s always a great time, it’s just a different, high-energy, fast-paced event,” Booth said. “It’s really got a fun, New Orleans style open air feel, and the weather is going to be perfect for it, so we hope people come down and have fun!”

For more information, call (309) 788-6311 or visit www.gumboyayafestival.com and www.ridistrict.com.

BAND SCHEDULE

Friday, June 10
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel Stage
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Creole Stomp
8:00 – 9:00 Creole Stomp
9:45 – 10:45 Colin Lake
11:15 – 12:15 Colin Lake
Plaza Stage
5:30 – 6:30 Backwater Bayou Band
7:00 – 8:00 Backwater Bayou Band
8:45 – 10:15 TBA
11:00-12:30 Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe

Saturday, June 11
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel Stage
5:30-6:30 TBA
7:00-8:00 TBA
8:45-10:15 Hurricane Gumbo
11:00-12:30 Colin Lake
Plaza Stage
5:00-6:00 Backwater Bayou Band
6:30-7:30 Backwater Bayou Band
8:00-9:00 Environmental Encroachment
9:45 -10:45 Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe
11:15 – 12:30 Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written almost 30 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.