Blue Mountain School

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December 18, 6:00 - 7:30


December 19, - January 5,


January 6, 9:00 - 1:00


January 19, 2:30 - 3:00

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Mardi Gras

2015 Mardi Gras - Volunteers Needed

If you would like to help plan the 2015 Mardi Gras ball, please contact the BMS Development Committee. Thank you!

Thank you for another great Mardi Gras!

Thank you so much for helping Mardi Gras be the success that it was. The numbers are still being calculated, but just seeing so many people have such a good time was reward in itself.
We have so many people to thank that we couldn't possibly list them all by name, and rest assured, if you're reading this we're thinking of you in gratitude.
Some people and businesses we would like to include for special mention include:
  • Jamie Reygle, who put all the pieces together;
  • Our new Mardi Gras King and Queen, Jack Wall and Kamala Bauers, who made Floyd's premier venue available for a great price, and paid several people to work there to boot;
  • Maggie Hessinger from the EcoVillage, who worked tirelessly prior to and during the event to ensure it ran as smoothly as possible;
  • Bob Grubel, who stood out in the cold all night directing parking;
  • Jason Loftus and the BMHS Culinary Arts team, who put on some of the best food ever served at a Floyd Mardi Gras;
  • Corey Avellar and Jessi Howell, who spent the night managing a rowdy bunch of children up at Kiddy Gras;
  • Chris Luster, who spent most of his day (and well into the night) on the sound;
  • Each of the bands, without whom there would be no Mardi Gras;
  • MC Scott Smith, for tying it all together;
  • Andrea Goodrum, for managing the auction again;
  • Our setup crew - Kim Kessler, Barb Gillespie and Vera Christensen - who made Mardi Gras look better than ever before;
  • Brien Egan and the cleanup crew, for getting up on Sunday morning and tidying up after us;
  • Naomi Crews and her magnificent bar staff, for, well, you know;
  • Rick Parrish and our door staff, for keeping people flowing in. If you were on the door, you know we trust you as much as we trust anyone;
  • Shelly Emmett and the ticket selling people. See above;
  • Parkway Brewing Company, who provided their awesome beer and the jockey boxes and tubs for the kegs;
  • Villa Appalaccia, for the wine;
  • Warren Lapine, who donated some of his favorite wine to serve on the night;
  • Cassie and Scott Pierce of Buffalo Mountain Kombucha, for donating their kombucha and working the bar;
  • Sam and Sam Steffens of Mountain Song Herbals, for donating the herbal tea;
  • Food Lion, for donating the soda;
  • Mickey G's, who again donated Chef's Choice for Two for the auction;
  • Floyd PFLAG, for their fun prizes;
  • Emily Williamson, who once again did the spectacular poster artwork;
  • Elaine Martinez, who designed the poster;
  • Lore Deighan and the BMES Art classes, for making the crowns and signs for the event;
  • Meads Davenport, for providing decorations for the event;
  • Gabriele Hilger, for providing decorations for Mardi Gras and costume crafts for Kiddy Gras;
  • Southern Print & Copy, who gave us an amazing deal on the poster printing;
  • Carol Volker, who sourced many of the auction items and did an amazing amount of administrative work to make the event happen;
  • All the auction, raffle and prize donors, who gave and gave and gave;
  • All the volunteers, who each donated three hours of their time to help make the event a success;
  • Our attendees! Wow! Never before have we had so many people get in the spirit of the event. Fantastic effort, people!
  • The people at Daytime Blue Ridge on WSLS, for inviting us on their show to promote Mardi Gras;
  • Bruce Bryan of Roanoke Valley Conversations on 101.5 The Music Place, for having us on his show to promote Mardi Gras;
  • Tad Dickens of The Roanoke Times, for including Floyd Mardi Gras in his week's Standouts;
  • Nick Smirniotopoulos of Collegiate Times, for covering the event;
  • Colleen Redman of Loose Leaf Notes, for covering the event again;
  • Wanda Combs and Joy Beran of The Floyd Press, for extending deadlines and giving us plenty of promotion for the event;
  • Squid, for donating his services as Dedicated Designated Driver for the evening;
  • Andy Volker, for devising and developing the ticket sales system and PayPal card readers;
  • Those we've forgotten to mention. You know who you are. Thank you!
We couldn't have done it without you.
Thank you.

Mardi Gras Silent Auction 2014

Thank you to everyone who has contributed items to our silent auction so far! If you have something you would like to donate, please let us know. If you see an item on this list that you absolutely must have, but you are unable to attend Mardi Gras, contact us to see about setting up a bidding proxy.

  • Crocheted set of 6 Star Wars themed amigurumi from Angie Barrett of Tangled Up in Yarn valued at $105.

  • Handmade baby quilt and ornaments from Appalachian Heritage Quilts.

  • A 90 minute spa pedicure from Ashleigh Ward.
  • Pottery by Jayn Avery of Blue Heron Pottery Studio.
  • One week of Blue Mountain School summer camp.
  • An "Around the World" gift basket from the BMES Silverberries class.
  • A gardening gift basket from the BMES Dragon Tamers class.
  • A "home made" gift basket from the BMES Demigods class.
  • Gift basket from the BMHS students.
  • Large aromatherapy gift basked from Christine Byrd valued at $100.
  • Original artwork by Emily Williamson for 5th Mardi Gras Ball poster valued at $350.

  • Portrait of Tom Ryan on canvas by Greg Ward. Valued at $250.

  • Two one night stays at Indian Creek Cabins.
  • Hand painted jacket created by local artist and donated by Inge Terrill.

  • Small work of art by BMS art teacher Lore Deighan.

  • Full body work session by certified massage therapist Lynn Mace valued at $90.
  • Foot massage from Miriam Brancato.
  • Wild medicinal and edible plant walk and inventory on your property from Perrin Hammond.
  • Holistic veterinary consultation from Perrin Hammond.
  • Gift basket from BMS teacher Miranda Altice's Punkee Herbals.

  • Autographed copy of The Tinker King by local author Tiffany Trent.

  • Beer making kit donated by Tully Anderson.

  • An original knitted piece by Wenona Scott.
  • Art, jewelry, and stones from Winter Koeppe.

5th Annual Mardi Gras

Thanks to the vision of the late Tom Ryan, Mardi Gras has become an institution in Floyd, and Blue Mountain School’s signature fundraiser.

Crazy costumes, great live music, a comprehensive auction, and awesome prizes all combine to make this the funnest fundraiser this side of the Bayou. Meanwhile, the Kiddy Gras pajama party—held on the same site—allows the whole family to have fun at this 18+ event.

Please join us on Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 6:30pm - 12:00am in the Celebration Hall at Floyd Eco Village. Tickets are $12 in advance from Republic of Floyd, Blue Mountain Elementary School, Blue Mountain High School, Black Water Loft, Floyd Fitness and online and $15 at the door (if there are any left). For that small price, you'll get a huge party!


For the first time ever, every member of the main band (Lagniappe) this year has previously performed at Mardi Gras. Fronting the band is Kerry Hurley (The Fat Daddy Band), with Hoppie Vaughan (Ministers of Soul) on bass, Tom Snediker (The Kind) on guitar, Jamiel Allen (Alliens) on keys, and George Penn (The Floorboards) on drums. These are some of the finest performers in the region, and every single one of them knows how to get your feet dancing and your body moving. Opening for Lagniappe are local band Time is Art, and Mardi Gras staples and Blue Mountain School alumni Spoon Fight.

Silent Auction

Silent auction items this year include Emily Williamson’s original Mardi Gras poster artwork and a print of Greg Ward’s portrait of Tom Ryan, with plenty more to be announced. The host of prizes includes Chef’s Choice for two at Mickey G’s for the best costume and prizes for Best Woman to Man costume, Best Man to Woman costume and Best Rainbow outfit from Floyd PFLAG.

Food and Drink

You could help get a kid to New Orleans simply by eating the great cuisine! Former House of Blues Lead Saucier Jason Loftus is leading the Blue Mountain High School Culinary Arts class in preparing all the food for this year’s event, and all catering proceeds are going towards a trip to New Orleans for the students! And to complement your fine dining experience, enjoy wine from Villa Appalaccia Winery, beer from Parkway Brewing Company, and kombucha from Buffalo Mountain Kombucha.

Kiddy Gras Pajama Party!

The Kiddy Gras children’s party is being run by Blue Mountain School teacher Corey Avellar, and will feature plenty of treats and fun activities. Tickets are $12, available online only.

For more information or for press contacts, please see our event page.

Thank you for a successful Mardi Gras!

Thank you for your part in making Mardi Gras such a success!

What do we mean by success? The answer is not as simple as it may first appear. Sure, it was a fundraiser, and the point of fundraisers is to raise funds, right? Well, partly - and our initial analysis indicates that we did as good a job as we've ever done at that. But there's so much more to the equation. Here are some of the ways in which we measure success at an event like Mardi Gras:

  • Bringing the wider community together. As you may have noticed - if you've been to Mardi Gras before - there were a lot of new faces there on Saturday night. They had a blast right alongside all the old faces, and plenty of them said that next year they're bringing their friends. Success.
  • Bringing the Blue Mountain School community together. We have never had so much support from the school community for one of these events, which is great in two ways: 1) your support means so much to us, and 2) you all hopefully got to have a blast right alongside one another. Success.
  • Publicity. We've never before been given so much publicity for a single event. Blue Mountain School was mentioned in interviews on two radio stations and one TV station, had three weeks of stories in The Floyd Press, a bunch of coverage in The Roanoke Times, and was all over the internet. As a result, people came from as far away as West Virginia and North Carolina. Success.
  • EcoVillage. We helped introduce hundreds of people to the space, and they loved it (who couldn't!). People were inquiring about other events and/or renting the space, and you know almost all of them will be back for more. Success.
  • Blue Mountain School's community connection. Floyd's Mayor is the new Mardi Gras King, y'all (and he'll be back next year)! Success.
  • Kiddy Gras. Sold out. In its first year. Success.
  • Music. Three bands: one of them all BMS alumni, two of them playing together for the very first time. All of them rocked. Keep an eye out for Opening Act - you'll no doubt be hearing more from them - but you'll always be able to say you saw them first. And you'll always be able to see you saw the only performance of this version of Lagniappe. Success.
  • Tom. Would have been proud. Success.
  • The vibe. Let me ask you this: did you have fun? Success.

In every way we can think of, this year's Mardi Gras was a success, and it was in no small part because of you. Thank you!

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