Every year, New York's usual anxiety and chaotic charm turns laissez-faire via the Crescent City for Mardi Gras. NYC’s Fat Tuesday is a typically rambunctious affair, featuring jazz performances at some of the best jazz clubs in the city, plus more funky shows. There also rich cuisine from Cajun restaurants, king cake and some of the best parties in New York. So, for your celebratory pleasure, here's our roundup of the city's best Big Easy events.
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When is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
What is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras (french for "Fat Tuesday") is a Carnival celebration that takes place the day before Ash Wednesday. People celebrate and feast before the Lenten season begins.
Mardi Gras in NYC events
Ready to party Big Easy–style? The bumpin’ brass ensemble Hungry March Band, DJ Jonathan Toubin and pianist Gordon Webster tear this Brooklyn house down with traditional NOLA tunes. Make sure to snack on some gumbo to fuel your energy in order to boogie hard on the dance floor.
George Clinton is beautifully eccentric with his often colorful hair and his platform boots. For a lively Fat Tuesday, join the funky R&B innovator as he hosts a Mardi Gras celebration with his groovy band.
Masquerade masks and gobs of purple, green and gold glitter are encouraged at this Bourbon Street–inspired rager dubbed Brass, Sass & Ass. The fete involves a colorful parade, death-defying Lady Circus performers and plenty of carnival bedazzlement. We dare you to see how many beads you can collect (or earn) while the funky Idle Hands Brass Band performs.
It’s called Fat Tuesday for a reason, folks. Prepare to gorge as chef Francis Derby and an assembly of masterful chefs cook a smorgasbord that’s gluttony-approved. Stuff your gullet with an unlimited Mangalitsa pig feast paired with sinful sides, and wash it down with thematic cocktails like Hurricanes and Zombies. The munching starts at 3pm, and there’s a jazz band and a live feed of the Mardi Gras parade to keep you entertained between bites.
The Mardi Gras festivities can’t stop and won’t stop thanks to some folks from N’awlins itching to celebrate all over again in the Big Apple. Tulane, a New Orleans university, hosts this traditional bash with a performance by NOLA native and percussionist Derrick Freeman. He and his soul brass band play a lively set that will make you shake your tail feathers.
Bar LunÀtico is like Mardi Gras every day. (You can often catch great jazz performances at the Brooklyn watering hole.) At this special affair, which includes creole and music from old-school New Orleans R&B band Tubby on the bandstand, it's like you've stepped directly into the The Big Easy.
The Hall at MP hosts this traditional New Orleans affair with a sick lineup of jazz and R&B performances all month-long. Make sure to check out Milo Z and the Funk Band on Fat Tuesday at 7pm. Before the show grab a crawfish platter served with corn and potatoes ($35). There’s also an amazing happy hour with half-off NOLA beers and craft cocktails from 6 to 7pm.