Once a year FAT FRIDAY immerses downtown Manhattan in the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition, celebrating an equal mix of charity and revelry—a righteous combination of Crescent City-style live music and food, with dancing beaus and beauties, parasols, beads, and a big fat dose of NOLA Love.

Founded in 2006 by NOLA transplant Matthew Day and New Orleans enthusiast Wylie Stecklow, FAT FRIDAY was a direct response to the devastation resulting from Hurricane Katrina, particularly with respect to the music and culture of this unique city.  Stecklow and Day formed an impressive array of musicians, artists, restaurants, chefs, plus friends and sponsors, to create the now annual celebration of New Orleans music, cuisine, history and spirit in the heart of NYC.

“For years, Matt and I looked for a real Mardi Gras party in NYC, but always failed to find something we felt was worthy of New Orleans. After Katrina, it was just a natural outcome that we would reach out to our culinary connections and community minded peers to throw a Mardi Gras fundraiser, and donate the proceeds to help NOLA musicians persevere.”- Wylie Stecklow

In 2009, Jeffrey Feinbloom introduced Stecklow to Brother Joscephus & the Love Revolution, a local band with deep New Orleans ties, and a partnership for the FAT FRIDAY event was formed.  Every year since, the foot stomping, bead throwing, umbrella twirling tunes of Brother Joscephus has rocked the event.  Brother Joscephus himself sees the annual event as, “an amazing way for us to give something back to the musical community that so inspired the band at its inception, while also just having one hell of a great time.”

The unique foods and influential music of New Orleans have inspired NYC artists, chefs, musicians and restaurateurs to recreate, reinvent, and celebrate that legacy and spirit with an annual FAT FRIDAY event that continues to give back, while totally getting down.