The Mardi Gras in NYC guide

Are you ready for Fat Tuesday? Celebrate Mardi Gras NYC-style and with our pick of fun events including parties
Photograph: Thomas Donley
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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 13, 2018.

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

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George Clinton
Photograph: William Thoren
Music, Funk, soul and disco

"Funky Fat Tuesday" Celebration with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic

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George Clinton—the one and only Uncle Jam and author of (deep breath) Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?—lands the mothership for a night of ass-liberating funk. Here the funk innovator hosts what's become an annual Mardi Gras celebration for a sixth straight year.

2
Bierhaus NYC
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Things to do

Bierhaus NYC Mardi Gras

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Glug numerous brews, gorge on doughy pretzels, get your hands on some beads and revel in the gluttony during a special Fat Tuesday celebration inside this German Hall. Enjoy listening to some live music and, if you’re up for it, sign up for trivia. 

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3
Blue Note
Photograph: Dominic Perri
Music, Jazz

Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers

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Big Easy staple Kermit Ruffins isn't much of an innovator—that's why they call it traditional,after all—but the bright-faced Louis Armstrong imitator oozes personality and onstage flair. He hits the Blue Note for a roomy Mardi Gras–week run.

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Things to do

NYC Mardi Gras (Official Day Party)

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Day drinkers, start your engines. This eight-hour Mardi Gras hooplah kicks off at noon in a sprawling two-story sports bar in Midtown. Tunes comes courtesy of DJs Copenhagen and Pim, live musicians keep things festive and $6 drinks before 4pm ensure you'll feel plenty loose by sundown.

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5
House of Yes
Photograph: Courtesy House of Yes
Things to do

Mardi Gras: Brass, Sass & Ass at House of Yes

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Costumes are encouraged at this Bourbon Street–inspired rager dubbed Brass, Sass & Ass. The fete involves a colorful parade, a live brass band, death-defying circus performers and plenty of carnival bedazzlement. We dare you to see how many beads you can collect (or earn) before night's end.

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Things to do

Lower Eastside Girls Club's Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball

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After two years off, the Lower East Side Girls Club revives its annual Mardi Gras soiree. Don green, gold, purple or black cocktail attire, purchase a mask made by a Girls Club member for $10 and hit the dance floor to the sounds of DJ Steve Tek. The evening also features a live NOLA-style brass marching band, swing dancing, a performance from Princess Shaw, raffle prizes and that warm fuzzy feeling you get from supporting a good cause.

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Things to do, Performances

Fat Tuesday at Threes Brewing

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Head to Gowanus for a Mardi Gras get down featuring a Dr. John–themed music performance from the folks behind 3 Ring Bender, eats from The Meat Hook, New Orleans–themed cocktails and, of course, king cake.

More ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in NYC

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Death & Co.
Photograph: Beth Levendis
Bars, Cocktail bars

The best Sazeracs in NYC

Here’s where you’ll find the best Sazerac cocktails in NYC, for a piece of the Big Easy in the Big Apple

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