Beads, Beans, and Booze!

Kalie Strain
Editorial Assistant


On Feb. 25 from 5:30 to 8:30pm the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the American Jazz Museum, will be hosting the 10th annual Beads, Beans, and Booze Mardi Gras event.


This is the third year the event has been held at the American Jazz Museum.


“[Beads, Beans, and Booze] was originally started in one of our local pubs,” said CEO of Northeast Chamber of Commerce, Bobbi Baker-Hughes.


Baker-Hughes said that the event began 10 years ago in local pubs and as participation increased, it was held at the Don Bosco Center until finally moving to the American Jazz Museum in 2018.


“What better place than 18th and Vine and in the American Jazz Museum. That’s where Mardi Gras should happen on Fat Tuesday every year,” said Baker-Hughes.


“It’s a great event. Brings a lot of people, a lot of diversity, a lot of food, which is one of my favorites,” said Baker-Hughes. “But food like hot spiced shrimp on ice, jambalaya, beans and rice, hence the… Beads, Beans and Booze.”


This year the event will have music from Bill McKemy and his New Orleans-style brass band, Relativity Brass. 


McKemy worked for the American Jazz Museum from 2014-2017. McKemy, his wife, and two children live in the Indian Mound neighborhood. 


Professional mime Beth Byrd-Lonski will also be entertaining at the event. A photo booth and a professional photographer will also be available.


Baker-Hughes said events like Beads, Beans, and Booze is an opportunity to get people from inside and out of the Northeast together to network and invest in the community.


“That’s part of what this event does, bring in folks, making them more aware of what’s going on in the Northeast and then they get excited and move here and stop here. They come back,” she said.


To attend the Mardi Gras Beads, Beans and Booze event, guests can order tickets by visiting nekcchamber.com and following the “click for tickets” link on the homepage. Tickets cost $40 online and $50 at the door.


“Get dressed up, come out, and party away,” said Baker-Hughes.

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