The fanciful spirit of any celebration can be a challenge to bottle up and label according to its ingredients. You simply know that something works because you've seen it working, and much of the merriment stems from a number of not-easy-to-place reasons.
But it's rather obvious why the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax throws such a lively Mardi Gras each and every year: It's already got that merry spirit year-round, much like Bourbon Street in New Orleans, which we can confidently call Mardi Gras Central.
Is that the secret to an ebullient party that's also rife with the A, B, Cs of the wintertime shindig? The "A" being accordion, the "B" being beads, and "C" standing for crawfish. That a place is already full of people having a good time pretty much always?
That good time'll get even brassier on Saturday, Jan. 30 and Sunday, Jan. 31. That's right, the landmark public market is starting the Fat Tuesday fun several days before Feb. 9, in an entirely different month. (You know this is a beloved tradition when the bon temps rouler can't even be contained in a single month.)
But the NOLA-style doings continue into February, with more Mardi Gras tunes on Saturday Feb. 6 and a party on the day of Mardi Gras proper. That's four full days of rocking the beads and feathers.
The highlights? There are many, but Mutti Gras, on Jan. 31, will bring out the pups dressed in gold, purple, and green. A strolling jester will be out that day, in harlequin regalia, and a whole bunch of bands will bring the stomp 'n twirl.
Want to catch every act, from The Wabash Wailers to Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros? Best check the full roster. The bayou is meeting up with the Fairfax District, and you likely don't want to miss a note.
As for the cost of catching a few bead necklaces and twirling your partner to the sounds of the French Quarter? That's all free, in grand Mardi Gras style.
Pocket some dollars, though, for beignets and a po' boy at The Gumbo Pot. It's located on the market's West Patio, where a lot of the dancing and accordion-awesomeness is set to go down.