By Forest Riggs

Laissez les bon temps rouler!Yes, indeed—let the good times roll! After a dismal January filled with disastrous political clouds and way too much nasty polarization of the country, Ol’ Galvetraz is ready to shake off the dust of disappointment, watch Cupid’ s arrow fling about and have one huge fais do-do. February is a fun month on the island, especially this year, and the huge party, Mardi Gras, starts February 17.
Valentine’ s Day is here again and, with it, come myriad red and while hearts, boxes of candies, cards and all sorts of stuffed animals. When those little arrows strike, they excite a fire and sometimes a fantastic romance. Being “ forever single,” I have decided this special day, like many others, is for lovers and those dealing with matters of the heart. But single or not, it is still nice to share an expression of love and caring for someone special.
I always look forward to some great drink specials on Valentine’ s Day. For some reason, those drinks make the arrows fly more spontaneously. If you have some, do something special to earn those drinks and, if you are single, watch out for Cupid’ s arrows!

Bar talk
Galveston’ s LGBT clubs have been fun and full of activities. There was a huge, surprise birthday party (though not really a surprise on this small island) on January 16 for Ross “ Woody” Wells, the island’ s favorite fly. Woody turned Sweet 16 (again) and all of his friends were there to help celebrate. Kudos to longtime husband Richard Daughtry and Rumors Beach Bar for organizing and hosting the fun gathering.3-chrismegan
Things have been competitive over at Todd and Dan’ s 23rd St. Station. For the second year, island diva Carly Hart hosted her Island Idol contest.
Galveston has some talented and wonderful singers and this year’ s was bigger and better than last. Competing for the title and $500, locals sang their hearts out. Judges this year were hot performer Nathan Nixx, always sexy Jesse Garza, the wonderful Dixie Monroe and the dynamic Taylor Lauryn. The popular contest held its finale January 27 to a packed house. Finalists were hottie Chris Monteith and beautiful songbird Megan Posey. The crowd was loud and full of energy, and after months of stiff competition, Posey took the title of Island Idol 2017. Seeing long-lashed Chris gyrate to “ Sweet Transvestite” from Rocky Horror Picture Show was a highlight of the season. Did I mention the eye lashes on that boy?
My pals at Robert’ s Lafitte have continued to wow the island and visitors with fantastic shows and some of the best drink specials around. If you have not been there in a while, go visit Jerome and Lee for a great time. Those fellows know how to keep the crowd happy and the drinks flowing. It appears that island bombshell, C.C. Ryder, is now back at Lafitte’ s, doing what she does best: Entertaining. Jada should get a trophy for the hard work put into coordinating and running the show. Long-island performer Dixie Monroe has popped in and out for some great performances. Lafitte’ s is an Island must!

Mardi Gras madness
Things have been a little crazy in the community as word drifted down that the infamously bad pseudo-Christian crowd from Westboro Baptist Church targeted Galveston island and spewed their vitriol on Sunday, February 5. The hypocritical mess targeted Sacred Heart Catholic Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church and First Baptist Church. (Wait…aren’ t they also Baptist?) WBC’ s flyer and printed “ warning” read, “ WBS to preach with great zeal and fervour,picketing Roman Catholics and their offspring in Galveston, Texas.”1-marigras2017
So aside from being a cluster of idiots…they can’ t spell either. It’ s spelled “ fervor!” Galveston Police and local clergy from many denominations asked the locals to not engage or encourage the demented flock. Hard as it might me, we were asked to turn the other cheek, show a consolidated effort of peace and love.
But why Galveston? I phoned the church and asked. “ Galveston will be celebrating Mardi Gras, a pagan holiday used as a path to a burning hell!”
I hung up thinking, “ Wow, what a way to go!”
So is it fitting that I exclaim, “ Welcome, Mardi Gras 2017!” The island will be rocking and reeling with parades, parties, beads, food, drinks and all sorts of sin that most Westboro f*ckheads would secretly love to be part of.2-woody
This year Mardi Gras looks to be bigger and better with two weeks of celebration and more than 25 parades. Galveston Historic Foundation hosts its Menardi Gras at the 1838 Menard House on February 10. This festive and colorful party is set at the site of Galveston’ s first Mardi Gras celebration that occurred back in the late 1800s. Hustler’ s Brass Band will provide music; Mardi Gras attire is encourage.
This promises to be one hell of a party! For more information, check out GHF’ s face book page at galvestonhistory.org.
For more information and a great list of Mardi Gras 2017 events, schedules and activities, check out Galveston.com.
Whatever you do this Valentine’ s Day and Mardi Gras, do it with gusto and have fun. There has been way too much negative news lately, so it is time to parrrty!

A resident of Galveston where he can be found wasting bait and searching for the meaning of life, Forest Riggs recently completed a collection of short stories about his beloved island and is working on a novel.