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The Mardi Gras in NYC guide

Get ready for Fat Tuesday and celebrate Mardi Gras in NYC at these lively parties and shows

Photograph: Thomas Donley

Anxious and uptight New Yorkers turn laissez-faire and let loose in honor of Mardi Gras. NYC’s Fat Tuesday celebration is a typically rambunctious affair featuring jazz performances at some of the best jazz clubs in the city. There’s also rich cuisine from Cajun restaurants, king cake and some of the best parties in New York. If you wish to partake in the New Orleans-inspired festivities, check out where to find a piece of the Big Easy in the Big Apple.

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When is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

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

House of Yes
Photograph: Courtesy Erica Camille
Things to do

Mardi Gras: Brass & Sass

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 Hot Hand Band performs.

Brooklyn Bowl
Music, Funk, soul and disco

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band + Cha Wa

If it weren’t for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the art of second-line music might have been little more than a museum item at this point. The New Orleans horn-funk powerhouse ushered in the brass-band revival of the ’70s, paving the way for a new generation of blowers. In more recent years, the group has guested with everyone from Widespread Panic to Modest Mouse; here, the DDBB takes top billing with special guest Butcher Brown. Get ready for a night of grooves, plus New Orleans-inspired food and drink specials. 

Things to do

It's Common Census: A Mardi Gras Bash To Make Every Person Count

Comedians Pat Regan and Christi Chiello host this Fat Tuesday-inspired variety show in an effort to raise funds for a good cause. See hilarious stand up from your party throwers, play some outrageous drag bingo with Glace Chase and watch burlesque performances before L-Train Brass Band brings the bash home with their funk-tastic jams. Proceeds from the event go to Southern Echo, a Mississippi-based non-profit that helps underrepresented, low-wealth people of color become architects of change through public policy.

Brooklyn Cider House
Photograph: Michael Tulipan
Things to do

Mardi Gras at Brooklyn Cider House

Break out your most coveted worthless trinket and cash in on a deal at this Bushwick watering hole. On Fat Tuesday, patrons wearing Mardi Gras beads get a flight of three ciders for half price. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, come hungry: tacos are just $2 every Tuesday.

Photograph: Liz Clayman
Things to do

Mardi Gras at Valerie

Sip sazeracs and nosh on New Orleans–inspired eats at this retro-inspired cocktail bar's five-day Mardi Gras celebration. The menu boasts Cajun favorites like shrimp po' boys and gumbo, and a live band provides some extra flavor on Fat Tuesday.

More ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in NYC

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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