Mardi Gras at AVAM


March 04, 2001|By Sloane Brown

Anything went -- and did -- at the American Visionary Art Museum's Mardi Gras celebration. More than 1,800 revelers jammed onto the museum grounds for what has become Baltimore's wildest annual blowout.

Among the evening's events: a snow-making machine blowing the white stuff inside; flurries of confetti, pingpong balls and inflatable male and female dolls raining onto the crowd; and a grand procession that began with AVAM founder / executive director Rebecca Hoffberger riding in on a white horse, and ended with B-52's rock star Fred Schneider arriving in a disco cage pulled by men and women in bikinis.

But many partygoers added to the sights as well. A Bromo Seltzer tower could be seen bobbing above the dance floor, partnered by Memorial Stadium. Closer inspection revealed Baltimore architect George Holback and Maryland housing and community development grant officer Joann Holback under all the cardboard.

"I am Mother Earth, with land, sea and air represented on my head," claimed saronged Tremont Plaza concierge Tracy Turner, topped with a hat spouting shells and birds.

And Baltimore firefighter John Thayer came as a cuddlier version of Smokey Bear.

"Everybody loves a teddy bear," Thayer enthused.

Elsewhere in the shebang: Sheri Wright, Salomon SmithBarney financial consultant; Donna Regester, Kinko's branch manager; Shane Gullivan, Ten Car Pile Up CEO; John Reasner, John Reasner Studios owner; Jimmy Rouse and Amy Oelke, Baltimore artists; Jerri Ninesling, Washington State Bar Association administrator; Dr. Bob Gaudet, North Arundel Hospital emergency medicine specialist; Carole Langrall, Garden of Earthly Delights owner; Timoria McQueen, Nordstrom makeup artist; Paula Heneberry, Villa Maria mental health administrator; George Hallameyer, Maryland State Highway Administration engineering technician; Jimmy Wilson, trumpet player and recording artist; and Lisa Willis, former WBFF-TV news anchor.

The revel raised $50,000 for AVAM.

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