Replicating the elements of a beloved holiday that's much associated with a particular city can be challenging.
Sure, you can have some king cake and crawfish in honor of Mardi Gras, but finding a balcony in which to throw beads from -- or stand below and catch 'em -- is trickier, unless you possess a balcony and know a willing thrower of beads.
Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax boasts such a balcony, all year long, but the east patio loggia really lights up -- or greens-golds-purples up, rather -- come the weekend before Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday itself.
That's when beads are thrown, to bead-happy people below, but the shiny wearables are just a slice of the lively New Orleans-style action. The brassy instruments are out in full, jazzy force throughout the weekend and Mardi Gras, as is zydeco music and dancing, crown decorating, and the Saturday noontime Mutti Gras parade.
Oh yeah. Dogs go royal, but, more than that, they go all out. As everyone should, when costuming for Mardi Gras. (An update on the Saturday pet parade -- it has been *postponed* due to the weather. New date? April 12.)
And like the French Quarter? This is all free to see. True, you'll want money for crawfish and beignets at The Gumbo Pot in the market's west patio, but you don't need a dime beyond that.
Here's hoping you leave with a stack of beads around your neck and a feet tired from moving to bayou boogie. And your feet might get really tired -- the party raises its parasol on March 1, 2, and Tuesday the 4th, Mardi Gras proper.
Oh, and be sure to check out the Kids for Peace tile project, now up at the historic project. It's a beautiful artwork with a good message at heart. More? Definitely.