The Cajuns have a particular phrase to describe having a memorable time and it goes something like, "Laissez les bons temps rouler." While our French Creole is a tad bit rusty, the saying roughly translates to "Let the good times roll," whic is what plenty of people around the Valley will be doing over the next few days in honor or both Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday.
Mardi parties will take place starting tonight and running through Fat Tuesday next week, and we've got a rundown of nine places where you can score some beads (either by flashing some naughty parts or otherwise) and have a Hurricane or three. See also: - Mardi Gras 2012 on Mill Avenue (Slideshow) - Get Ready for Mardi Gras with the Perfect Sazerac - 6 More Spots to Score Mardi Gras King Cake in Greater Phoenix
Q Lounge New Orleans revelry and Jamaican legends will be feted at this dual Mardi Gras/Bob Marley Birthday Bash inside this North Valley nightspot on Thursday, February 7. Jassy Ramirez from 101.5 Jamz hosts the soiree, which features both DJ Dark Vader and DJ Skoolboi spinning reggae while DJ Phlava drops hip-hop hits in a separate room. Plenty of beads will be thrown out to the crowd and drink specials like $2 you-call-its until 11 p.m., $3 Adios Motherfuckers and $5 Ciroc cocktails until midnight, and $75 bottle deals will be available. Ladies get in free before 12 a.m. The party commences at 9 p.m. Cover charges vary.
Hackett House Mill Avenue will get a taste of Bourbon Street when New Orleans-style jazz bands and festivities comes to this historic downtown Tempe domicile via its annual "International Mardi Gras Party" on Friday, February 8. Live music, luxe libations, and a repast of southern cuisine (including bayou gumbo and muffalettas) are planned for the event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Beads will be in abundance and attendees are encouraged to sport snazzy and flashy Mardi Gras outfits as a prize will be awarded for the best costume. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
CityScape The organizers of the annual "Downtown Phoenix Mardi Gras" celebration are hoping plenty of colorful and crazy characters will join in on the annual parade and party, which is why they're encouraging "merry-makers, revelers, family-friendly exhibitionists and hooligans of all sorts" to attend the event, which happens on Saturday, February 9, in and around CityScape's Patriot Park. The afternoon-long festival starts at 3 p.m., promising live entertainment from such acts as Dry River Yacht Club and Flamenco Por La Vida, food and drink vendors, a beer garden, and more.
A mile-long parade will then wind through the downtown streets beginning at 4 p.m. Musicians, mimes, and maybe even mermaids will make up the crowd going for a jaunt, which starts and ends at CityScape. Admission is free. A separate Mardi Gras bar crawl will also occur at 9 p.m., taking drinkers on a nighttime trolley tour to such establishments as Seamus McCaffrey's, Majerle's Sports Grill, and Tom's Tavern. Tickets are $15.
Karamba The always-entertaining local drag superstar Savannah will host an evening of carnivàle-esque carnal behavior and utter raucousness at this LGBT dance club on Tuesday, February 12. A themed showcase of female illusionists will take place, as well as a Mardi Gras costume contest for cash prizes. Doors open at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.
Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife A bounty of Big Easy adult beverages will be served up during Marc's annual "Mardi Gras Fest" on Tuesday, February 12. The resident mixologists will bust out with such specialties as The 007 (made from primo rum, orange juice, 7-Up, and a splash of pineapple) and Mardi Gras Punch all evening long while a variety of Cajun eats are whipped up in the kitchen, Joker Poker games take place at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., and "hot girl" videos play on the HDTVs in the lounge area. Ladies can also score $2.50 you-call-its, domestic bottles, and pint drafts from 8 p.m. until midnight. Admission is free.
Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras is pretty much like Christmas at this aptly named daiquiri-dispensing Tempe joint inasmuch at it's the biggest event on the calendar for its staff and patrons. Every year, the back patios of Fat Tuesday and the adjacent Canteen Modern Tequila are fenced off and transformed into a miniature version of N'awlins' signature party attended by hundreds armed with colorful beads and masks. This year's edition on Tuesday, February 12, will be no exception and will feature live music from local bands, multiple DJs, contests for prizes, and a massive crawfish boil. The fun kicks off at 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Charlie's The notorious "lil bitty ol' pissant country place" and LGBT hangout on Camelback Road will offer a "Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball" on Tuesday, February 12, with Barbara Seville as the mistress of ceremonies. DJ Tsunami will also be serving high-energy dance tracks and circuit music from the mixers until last call. The ball begins 10:30 p.m. Admission is free.
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Pranksters Too Finger-snapping and hip-shaking fun awaits at the "Fat Tuesday Boogie Woogie" shindig inside Pranksters' Jester Room, which will star local musician Cajun Chuck. Meanwhile, bartenders will be pouring Hurricanes and other themed drinks during the party, which takes place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 8. Admission is free.
Ra Sushi Bar All five Valley locations of the sushi chain will each host it's own "Mardi Ra Party" on Tuesday, February 12, and will offer a variety of spicy dishes and special cocktails for the occasion, like $8 Southern Juleps and HurRAcanes. Each affair runs from 7 p.m. until closing time and there's no cover.