Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is the carnival-esque event made famous in New Orleans, but celebrated just as much here in LA. Taking place on the eve of Ash Wednesday, this year’s official Mardi Gras date is Feb. 12, when participants will indulge in the good life before the fasting of the Lent season. No need to hop a flight to NOLA – here are the best Mardi Gras celebrations in the City of Angels.
727 Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Featuring approximately 16 Mardi Gras Carnevale costumes, the Masquerade Ball and Fashion Show will take place on Feb. 8, the eve of Long Beach’s Mardi Gras Carnevale. For $35, guests can enjoy a two-course catered meal, along with drinks, entertainment including a DJ and masquerade dance and a fashion show. The event takes place from 6 p.m. until midnight, with the fashion show portion of the event beginning around 7 p.m.
LA Farmer’s Market
6333 W 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Farmer’s Market will keep with tradition by hosting its annual Mardi Gras celebration. This family-friendly event is free, but be sure to bring some cash to taste authentic Cajun food. Participate in classic bead throwing and watch the parade, featuring live sounds of New Orleans. There will be face painting for the kids and great tasting beer for adults. The event will take place Feb. 9, 10 and 12.
New Orleans Cajun Cafe
140 Pier Ave.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Celebrate Mardi Gras by the beach! This classic New Orleans-style restaurant is located on the Hermosa Beach pier, where there is always plenty of action. Regular patrons rave about both the food and the service here. A special pre-Mardi Gras celebration will be had on Saturday, Feb. 9, with the dazzling musical talent of Dennis Gurwell, along with Musique Zydeco from 6 to 10 p.m.
Rainbow Harbor Mardi Gras Carnevale
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
What do you get when you mix Mardi Gras with a taste of Brazil and the carnevale of Venice? Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor Mardi Gras Carnevale. The event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 12:30 to 7 p.m. and will consist of endless amounts of entertainment and celebration. Inspired with dance and music from Brazil, masks and costumes of Venice, Italy, and the Southern cuisine and beads of Mardi Gras, this event is free for all to enjoy. Although activities start at 1 p.m., the parade is at 3 p.m.
Nola’s: A Taste of New Orleans
734 E 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Looking for a Mardi Gras celebration that you can fit in to your busy schedule at a time convenient for you? Nola’s is your place. The party lasts all year long at this authentic New Orleans-style Cajun restaurant. For an experience truly reminiscent of a night on Bourbon Street, step in to this gem, hidden in the Arts District. Whatever the date you choose to celebrate, Nola’s will be waiting for you with a mouth-watering menu of Southern delights, and live jazz music to feed your soul.
Nicole DiCicco enjoys dancing, movies and live music. She writes about all the nightlife Los Angeles has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.