Top 5 Mardi Gras parties

Keep your shirt on, drunky-pants: These are grown-up versions of your bead-slinging Cancun days.



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BangOn! Mardi Gras 2009
Okay, so Mardi Gras doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday 24, but revelers start partying five days early. The freaky folks at BangOn! have concocted an especially loony celebration, with—no joke—battling monsters, costumed artists, stilt walkers and go-go dancers in FEMA gear. Plus, King Neptune will lead a 15-piece marching band. Sure beats flashing some Skeevy McFratster for a chintzy string of beads.
Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-529-2266). Thu 19 at 10pm; $5, free with costume or Louisiana state ID.

2009 Fat Tuesday Party
N’awlins nexus Acme Bar and Grill breaks out the Louisiana pride come Mardi Gras. Two floors of Fat Tuesday festivities include a DJ upstairs, zydeco-rock downstairs and $8 16-ounce Hurricanes for all. Also fueling the fun: Abita specialty brews like Turbodog dark ale, Purple Haze raspberry wheat and Restoration pale ale.
FREE. Acme Bar and Grill, 9 Great Jones St between Broadway and Lafayette St (212-420-1934). Tue 24 6pm--midnight.

Nolafunk’s 3rd Annual Mardi Gras Ball
The Big Easy brings the Mardi Gras madness to the Big Apple at (Le) Poisson Rouge. This concert flashes you a DJ set by Mocean Worker, music from Big Sam’s Funky Nation and more. Expect costumes, plumage and beads galore.
158 Bleecker St at Thompson St (212-505-3474, Sat 21 at 8pm; $30, advance $25.

Fat Tuesday Party
Help yourself to some deep-fried New Orleans tunes at Sullivan Hall, including a set by 11-member blues group Funky Fritters and keyboard-driven jazz courtesy of Bill Malchow and the Go Cup All Stars.
214 Sullivan St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (866-468-7619, Tue 24 at 7pm, $10.

The Bell Maison Fat Tuesday Party
Say hello to Southern hospitality at the Bell House’s Bayou bash, which’ll be dishing up Cajun-style jambalaya from Noho’s Great Jones Cafe and beads from pervy crawdaddies. Plus, local group Sugartone Brass Band will throw down New Orleans street tunes mixed with contemporary funk.
149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, Tue 24 at 7pm, $9.

Find all those festive desserts >>
Before you set out to binge on Abita beer, beads and boobs, take a moment to consider the other side of carnaval—sweets.

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