Merry Sierra: Nevada City Mardi Gras

Watch the Broad Street revelries while trying to catch some beads.

NOLA IN NORCAL: Whether or not you don a feathery mask, or the sort of fancy get-up you might see on Bourbon Street, or you have your own slice of King Cake waiting for you back home or not, the fact is this: Mardi Gras has a way of making even the most obstinate of non-revelers sway a hip and tap a toe. Thank the brassy sounds of horns, thank the cheerful clapping and hollers that accompany a lively Fat Tuesday procession, and thank the le bon temps spirit of the old celebration that permeates everything for the holiday's ability to charm and draw people into the proverbial parade. Finding an actual parade, though, can be slightly challenging, and definitely if you're outside of Louisiana. True, many towns line up the trumpets and floats, and one of those towns has been doing so for several years now. Slip into your glittery purple, yellow, and green togs and sashay your way to...

NEVADA CITY: There shall be more gold in the Gold Country burg come Sunday, Feb. 19, thanks to golden instruments, golden fashion, and golden good times. True, Feb. 19 isn't Mardi Gras proper in 2017 — that's on Tuesday, Feb. 28 — so consider Nevada City celebration to be an early kick-off, if you're a tried-and-true Fat Tuesday observer. Attending is free, though, of course, you may want to imbibe or eat during the daytime doings. You have to keep your energy up, yes, to reach for all of those aloft beads, toys, and such? It's tradition, a slice of NOLA charm, in a cool Sierra village that boasts buckets of ready-to-have-fun cred.

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