By Claire Salinas
The second annual Red Stick Revelry returns on New Years Eve to welcome 2015 with a bang. Red Stick Revelry is a day-long event that will lead up to the dropping of The Red Stick at midnight in Town Square to the vibrations of Baton Rouge based band, Phat Hat.
The celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. with the dance company Of Moving Colors leading the crowd in a line dance to get the party started.
Garland Goodwin Wilson, the artistic director of Of Moving Colors, explained that the company “will be teaching a new line dance that celebrates the raising of the Red Stick, the level of simplicity will be similar to that of the Electric Slide, and it’s open to people of all ages.”
According to Nancy Little, director of Development for Of Moving Colors, “One of the mayor’s initiatives is to get people moving and keep Baton Rouge healthy,” thus inspiring the creation of the line dance.
The dance will be set to the beat of The Redstick Revelry Song, which was written by the lead vocalist of Phat Hat, Wendell Woods, especially for the event.
“Wendell’s creativity was the real backing behind that song,” said Little.
Red Stick Revelry event coordinator Rannah Gray approached Woods to write the ceremonial song, after hearing him play for Mayor Kip Holden’s election night.
“I knew he could do it because Phat Hat played at a party for Mayor Holden on election night at his election party,” Gray said. “The mayor was upstairs watching returns and waiting to come down, and they worked up this little song about Mayor Holden and played it as he came down.”
Gray put together all the elements of the evening and passed them along to Woods to create a song that would commemorate the celebration.
“When I approached them about playing at this event later they agreed,” said Gray, “so I took all the elements of the event and gave them to Wendell Woods who wrote a song that tells the story of The Red Stick Revelry.”
Gray explained the event is one big buildup to the events at midnight.
“It all builds up to midnight when the Red Stick will drop in Town Square,” she said. “Last year was one of the best nights downtown Baton Rouge has ever had. If you’ve not been downtown in the arts and entertainment area, it’s a great night to be down there, have dinner and check out clubs and live entertainment. It’s a great atmosphere for a live concert overlooking the bridge and all that downtown has to offer.”
The evening events will start off with a performance by David St. Romain from 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. on the Crest Stage in Galvez Plaza, and will be followed by a Phat Hat concert from 9 p.m. to midnight.
At midnight the red stick will drop and fireworks will go off over the Mississippi River.
To Gray, the good vibes at the event help to showcase Baton Rouge’s good side.
“I think people have a good feeling during the event,” she said. “Last year it just sort of brought out the best in Baton Rouge.”