Fat Tuesday is next week so it’s time to start making your Mardi Gras plans. Of course, we all wish we could be in New Orleans but for some of us that’s just not in the cards. Don’t fear. There’s tons of killer events around the country that are bringing New Orleans and Mardi Gras right to your door.
If you’re Catholic, this is your last night to eat rich, fatty foods before Lent, if you’re not, it’s an excuse to party on a Tuesday! And for those that don’t want to deal with the hangover on Wednesday, there’s a bunch of pre-Mardi Gras celebrations going on this weekend including a show tonight in New York featuring CJ Chenier, son of the inventor of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, and one of the hottest accordion players out there.
Either way, get your tickets because these events are sure to fill up fast.
Friday, February 17
CJ CHENIER & THE RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND – New York, New York CJ Chenier, son of the late Clifton Chenier ~ “King of Zydeco” ~ is a living legacy, having joined his father’s Red Hot Louisiana Band in 1978, then leading it before Clifton’s passing in 1987. Long since dubbed “the crown prince of Zydeco,” this is one prince that has more than earned his title. His commanding personality & strong voice combine with his great accordion playing to kindle the dancing spirit of zydeco wherever he performs. Zydeco does not only survive, it spawns new life in those who venture to experience Chenier’s shows.
2nd Annual Mardi Gras Celebration – Senoia, Georgia Please join the MOMS Club of Peachtree City South at their 2nd annual Mardi Gras Celebration benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The evening will include dinner, cocktails, a silent auction and a basket auction! Enjoy a night out while giving back to the community.
Saturday, February 18
Mardi Gras Ball: I LOVE GLAM! – Seattle, Washington Join Les Faeries Vertes for an evening of dinner, auction, dancing, and celebration at their 4th Annual “Mardi Gras Ball: I LOVE GLAM!” as they raise funds to benefit Seattle Area Support Groups & Community Center in their mission to build community and cultivate powerful, healthy lives by providing emotional support and personal development services to those affected by HIV/AIDS. This will be an evening of Mardi Gras dining and dancing at the 415 Westlake center in South Lake Union. The ticket price includes a full dinner, drinks, a silent auction, and great music for dancing the night away. This is a semi-formal event with black tie or dark suit encouraged, so please dress accordingly. Mardi Gras or GLAM themed costumes, masks and accessories are highly encouraged as an addition to or in lieu of formal attire. For an idea of the ambience, pictures from past galas can be found on Les Faeries Vertes’ website.
Mardi Gras Blues Celebration / Fundraiser – Olympia, Washington Featuring Too Slim & the Taildraggers, 2012 Blues Music Award Nominee for Rock Blues Album, and Olympia’s own Blues Attitude, this Mardi Gras-themed celebration promises an evening of blues, dancing and festivities to shake off the winter cold! This event will also feature a no host bar, BBQ buffet, a photo booth and LIMITED taxi vouchers available to guarantee your safe trip home! All proceeds will benefit Partners in Prevention Education.
Footlite Mardi Gras Party – Indianapolis, Indiana Forget New Orleans, this year Mardi Gras is coming to Indy! Footlite Musicals’ young professional board, Entr’acte, is proud to present its 5th annual Mardi Gras fundraiser. Guests will enjoy creole-inspired food and drinks, masks,beads, games and more! All proceeds will benefit programming and renovation initiatives at Footlite.
Krewe de Kinque Bal Masque 2012 – San Francisco, California Come experience an authentic New Orleans style Mardi Gras masked ball with San Francisco’s Krewe de Kinque (KDK)! Founded in 2004, KDK raises awareness and funds for charity in the spirit of Mardi Gras. This year’s annual ball will be like no other. Headlining are the SambaFunk! Funkquarians from Oakland, CA. The colorful costumes, percussion and dance will blow the roof off Trigger nightclub in the Castro.
Mardi Gras Party – Oakland, California Khaotik Entertainment presents their fundraising Mardi Gras Party with a live band, DJ, bar, food, vendors, games, raffles and prizes. They will announce a Grand Prize winner at the end of the night. Come and party New Orleans style.
Mystick Krewe of LAFF Mardi Gras Bash – Chicago, Illinois Join the Mystick Krewe of Laff as they celebrate Mardi Gras 2012! This year’s Bash theme is “Laffalot – Celebrating 20 Years of the Mystick Krewe of Laff”. As always, costume or formal attire with mask is REQUIRED for entry. Musical entertainment by Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars and the BS Brass Band! Ticket price includes home-made jambalaya, red beans & rice, moon pies, English toffee, specialty cocktails from Old New Orleans Rum Company, beer & wine.
Mardi Gras – Lewiston, Maine The Franco Center will present another unique, festive and must-experience event with its offering of “Mardi Gras in L/A” in the Franco Center’s Heritage Hall. In the tradition of New Orleans, Mardi Gras audiences will be treated to Cajun cuisine, spirits, and music. Traditionally, Mardi Gras is the last decadent or “fat” feast before the fasting that often accompanies the season of Lent. At the Franco Center, they take this as a serious endeavor and, for several years, have presented the most notable Mardi Gras celebrations in the Lewiston/Auburn area. This year will be no exception! Chef Edmond, “Directeur des Andouilles et des Cornichons” at the Franco Center, has an amazing meal planned of traditional New Orleans cuisine, including Crab Gumbo, Jumbalaya, New Orleans Ratatouille, Andouilles with Onions and Peppers, Truffled Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and the crowning dish, a King & Queen Cake. There will be ample amounts of classic New Orleans libations, like the legendary Hurricane, to help you forget the impending fast. Of course, no Mardi Gras party is complete without some foot stomping, street shaking, soul stirring music. To help us get in the proper mood for celebrating, we’ve got local favorites the Blues Buzzards. This group, led by?, is dipped in the blues, has heaps of horns, and knows how to fatten up a Tuesday, or Saturday, as the case may be.
Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball – Cary, North Carolina Historic Interpretations, Inc. is pleased to announce their second annual Mardi Gras Ball Masquerade Ball. Join the masked revelries! Admission includes a sumptuous three-course meal inspired by traditional New Orleans recipes, including: Cajun Shrimp & Grits, Roast Beef Po’ Boy Sandwiches, Haricot Vert, Tomato Basil Squash Medley, Assorted Cakes on the Dessert Buffet and Beer and Wine. After dinner, hit the dance floor to dance to old favorites, Mardi Gras Jazz tunes, and today’s top 40 dance hits. Select vendors, event photography, door prizes, a costume contest, and a silent auction will round out the evening’s festivities!
Sunday, February 19
Bam’s Boobie Bash 2012 – New Orleans, Louisiana District 400 Productions brings to you THE place to be for Mardi Gras 2012! Bam Margera (MTV‘s “Jackass”) will be hosting an all night boobie extravaganza with special guest Brandon Novak (MTV), Dj Cross on The Emulator, with performances from Dude Man Bro and Production 13! This party is benefiting Save the Ta Ta’s Foundation and guarantees to be one of the must-do’s during Mardi Gras 2012!
FAT TUESDAY! February 21
Mardi Gras Seattle 2012 – Seattle, Washington Get on the Mardi Gras BUS with TUBALUBA and celebrate Fat Tuesday in style! You will be served a generous helping of funky New Orleans Second Line brass band music as the band plays five Seattle area venues! Premium reservations also receive a TUBALUBA T-shirt and a copy of their new CD! They’ll do the driving and provide the music, and you have a good time – simple! There will be a tour bus for 46 fans plus the band. The party starts at 12:00 noon Marcela’s, and ends around midnight at the White Rabbit in Fremont.
Fat Tuesday Benefit Party – Seattle, Washington Fat Tuesday benefit party to raise funds for the Rainier Valley Food Bank and the Windemere Chairitable Foundation at Maxim’s Dance Club. Featuring funk, soul and jazz music by Tom Bennett and the Rolling Blacktops and the Unsinkable Heavies. Celebrate Fat Tuesday and fight hunger in the community.
Mardi Gras Celebration – Now We’re Cookin’ – Evanston, Illinois Don’t have a local place to go for Mardi Gras? Join Now We’re Cookin’ who are partying again at our popular Mardi Gras Celebration. Bring your friends/ date/ family/ whatever and cook up classic N’Orleans dishes. By the end of the night, the masks will be on and the beads come out for the official celebration of Fat Tuesday! Bring your own libation of choice to round out the experience they’ll bring the beads, guide you through the cooking, and then plan to party. Menu includes Andouille Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya, Mardi Gras Salad and Classic Beignets.
Mardi Gras San Francisco Style/ Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore – San Francisco, California This year’s 6th Annual Mardi Gras San Francisco Style Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore fundraiser will once again bring the San Francisco Fillmore Music District to life with colorful events that include a masquerade ball, free concerts, street artists, performers, and New Orleans-style processionals. Guests will also enjoy food, drink and other specials at numerous Fillmore restaurants, clubs and businesses. A plethora of eclectic delectable eats will be available to satisfy every palate, whether it’s homemade cookies and ice cream at Bumzy’s Cookies, chicken and waffles at Gussie’s, Yoshi’s Japanese, or Ethiopian cuisine from Rasselas and Sheba Lounge. The four-day celebration begins with a free kick-off concert in the Fillmore Plaza, featuring reggae jams from The Jah Summit Band and funk sounds from The Uninvisible Band.
Mardi Gras RVA! – Richmond, Virginia Gather at Dogtown Dance Theatre for the Mardi Gras parade! Performances will be after the parade. Wear a costume and be a part of the show! Performances include: Hoopers, Belly Dance, Host of Sparrows and All the Saint’s Puppets. Dance party with live music provided by Happy Lucky Combo after the performance.
ART Mardi Gras Celebration – Buffalo, New York Going on the fourth-year of revelry, join American Rep Theater of WNY in celebrating the traditional end of Carnival season as all “Laissez Les Bon Temp Roule!” Entertainment for the evening includes selected readings from the Louisiana classic book of folktales, Gumbo Ya Ya featuring tales of Mardi Gras, the working ladies of New Orleans “Baby Dolls”, and the Cajuns. Additional readings will come from the Greater Tuna Texas woman’s auxiliary of the “Clean Books; Clean Minds” book club. Music will take over the second-half of the evening as bar-band, Americana roots-rockers, Dick Whiskey bring their high-energy show to the stage. Joining the DWhisks are the hard drinkin’ and hard playin’ rockers, Whiskey Reverb. The evening promises to be filled with good times, gumbo, Bubba’s Hurricanes and rice & beans. DO NOT MISS THIS!
Mardi Gras with Sixpoint Brewery – New York, New York It’s time again for Back Forty’s fourth annual Mardi Gras and Sixpoint Brewery anniversary party! This year we’re celebrating Fat Tuesday with a New Orleans inspired feast. Upon arrival, you’ll be handed a sazarac and Shrimp & Bacon Beignets mouth poppers to start off the night. Chef Michael Laarhoven will then serve a three course dinner with Spicy Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo in the starring role. Each course will each be paired exclusively with Sixpoint Beers. Finish off the night with warm Pain Perdu, a New Orleans classic and apricot sauce polished off with either Sixpoint’s new “Resin” brew or a French West Indian Rhum Shrub.