While many people would love to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans at least once, they can jump into the spirit of the revelries and certainly the sound around Los Angeles.
Nope, that special Bourbon Street kind of magic can be a little hard to import, but not the feel and the fabulousness of the day. We, too, can make that happen here.
And happen it will, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at a few favorite spots around Southern California:
Amoeba Music: The Hollywood all-music-everything-a-porium is dedicated to raising a trumpet and parasol high in honor of Fat Tuesday. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will break out the shiny notes at 2 p.m., and there shall be dancing, believe it (and if there is not, we're counting on you to start some). A second line parade is definitely in the works, as is fund-raising for the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and the TIPITINA Foundation. Tuesday, Feb. 12
Long Beach Mardi Gras: Rainbow Harbor is the site of a few Zydeco-happy parties throughout the year, so it makes sense that the city's bead-y bash would happen at the spot. The date is Saturday, Feb. 9, the parade steps off at 3 p.m. (in front of the Aquarium of the Pacific, note) and there shall be stilt walkers and more touchstones you'd find in the Big Easy. Plus? It's free.
Original Farmers Market: The Third & Fairfax landmark's annual Mardi Gras celebration has a few hallmarks. One? Very family friendly. Two? The Gumbo Pot, the market's year-round purveyor of New Orleans-style favorites, sells a lot of beignets. Three? There's a pet parade. Four? And plenty of brass music. Five? Beads are thrown from the market's second story balcony. Six? It's free. And a big number Seven? It lasts for four days (the Friday through Sunday of the weekend before, and then the night of Mardi Gras). We like that the market stalls are decked-out in purple, gold, and green, too. Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 12.