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Fat Tuesday
Photograph: Courtesy Amoeba Music

Where to attend a Mardi Gras party or celebration in L.A.

Looking for plans for Fat Tuesday? Pencil in a local Mardi Gras party or celebration from these picks.

By Michael Juliano
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Los Angeles may be miles away from New Orleans, but that won’t stop us from trying our best to throw one hell of a Mardi Gras party and celebration. Throughout February, you’ll find parades, dance parties, jazz and lots of seafood at events around the city. If you prefer your pre-Lent festivities with a South American flair, we have Brazilian Carnival events, too. Whatever you’re in the mood for, consider penciling in plans for a local Mardi Gras party from these picks.

RECOMMENDED: Mardi Gras in Los Angeles

Where to attend a Mardi Gras party or celebration

Runway Playa Vista
Photograph: Courtesy Runway/ Venice Paparazzi

Mardi Gras at RUNWAY Playa Vista

Things to do Festivals

Laissez les bons temps rouler at Runway Playa Vista’s first annual Mardi Gras celebration, complete with an eight-piece brass band; the Whole Foods beer garden pouring Abita and other brews; a parade with beads (naturally); a pop-up marketplace; food trucks slinging NOLA fare; giveaways and more.

Brazilian Carnaval

Nightlife Nightlife

Shake your stuff in celebration of Brazilian Carnival at this annual dance party. The festivities include dancers, musicians, flying acrobats and a live stream of the main celebration in Brazil. It all goes down at the Le Jardin, with samba reggae, axé and trio elétrico music, along with samba-enredo, marchinha and pagode.

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Mardi Gras at Farmers Market
Courtesy Farmers Market.

Mardi Gras at the Farmers Market

Things to do Festivals

It’s Mardi Gras weekend, but you’re having a seriously hard time deciding whether to toss some beads or to play toss with Fido. Do both at the original Farmers Market with their annual Mardi Gras celebration. The fun begins with the Mutti Gras Pet Parade & Costume Contest at the Market Plaza. Then the Mardi Gras Celebration kicks off on the West Patio with live music (which returns on Fat Tuesday as well). Seafood and gumbo ya ya, jumbalaya, Cajun meat loaf, blackened chicken, beignets, po'boys, and other traditional New Orleans food will be available throughout.

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba
Photograph: Furn Zavala

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba

Things to do Festivals

Mark the musical culture and heritage of New Orleans during this Mardi Gras party and parade at Amoeba. The record store features DJs as well as a parade with masks, beads, floats and musicians. You’re welcome to bring your horn or percussion to join the annual party procession to “When the Saints...”

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Long Beach Mardi Gras
Photograph: Courtesy Shoreline Village

Long Beach Mardi Gras

Things to do Festivals

Get into the Mardi Gras spirit with this festival at Long Beach’s Shoreline Village. Catch a crew of zydeco bands as well as face painting and balloon artists. Chow down on beignets at the Funnel House and Blue Carousel along with hurricanes, spiked Kool-Aid, jambalaya, gumbo and alligator legs at Louisiana Charlie’s. A parade kicks off on Saturday at 2pm.

Brazilian Carnaval
Photograph: Courtesy Brazilian Nites Productions

Annual Brazilian Carnaval

Things to do

Transport yourself to Brazil at this annual West Coast version of the famed weeklong South American celebration—although L.A. crams all the fun into a one-night party. Samba the night away while enjoying Brazilian food and drinks, an all-star band performing Carnaval hits, dancers, a parade and a hundred-piece participatory drum circle. Nearly 1,000 people turn out for the sensual and raucous blowout, many masked, sequined and feathered in true Mardi Gras fashion.    

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