Mento Buru

Mento Buru’s annual Fat Tuesday party takes place March 5 at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.

Painting the town gold, purple and green is Mento Buru’s annual Fat Tuesday party March 5 at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. Fat Tuesday is a tradition that is usually synonymous with two things – the Christian faith and New Orleans.

Fat Tuesday is the day before the Lent period begins, which lasts until Easter. Despite its religious implications, Fat Tuesday is something that is celebrated all over the world.

“Whether you’re religious or not it’s one of those events where it’s just a good, fun celebration. That’s what we focus on, not necessarily the religious aspects of the traditions,” said Mento Buru lead singer Matt Munoz.

Mento Buru is a local band in Bakersfield that has been around for 27 years, whose music style includes various forms of Latin music with reggae and ska sets. It’s basically a mix of real-world music.

Their Fat Tuesday event started in 2006.

“It was just a few months after Hurricane Katarina had hit New Orleans. Here in Bakersfield, there were smaller Fat Tuesday celebrations, maybe like in the local bar or something like that. We decided, you know what, lets kick it up a notch,” said Munoz.

Fat Tuesday has since become a staple in the community. Since then, the event has become bigger and has been hosted at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace for the last few years.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. and the music will begin at 7. Opening for Mento Buru is the Ridgeview High School band. Fat Tuesday is all about the food and music. Along with the music from both bands, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace creates a special Mardi Gras menu that consists of traditional foods one would find in New Orleans.

“We do the beads but it’s not going to be an out-of-control, crazy thing,” said Munoz. “We encourage everyone to just come out and celebrate.”

The family oriented event is free and open to the public. 

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