10 Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday

Hope your livers are feeling well rested, as one of the bigger drinking holidays of the year is less than 24 hours away.

We're in the midst of Mardi Gras season, which means folks have been partying pretty hardy and partaking in sinful pleasures over the past week at masquerades, parades, and other such soirees in cities from Rome to Rio de Janeiro, as well as the holiday's epicenter in New Orleans.

It's all building up to the climax of tomorrow's celebration of Fat Tuesday, which is when the biggest fetes and largest displays of alcoholic excess will transpire, including many fun-filled fiestas here in the Valley.

Here's our list of ten such celebrations, many of which feature a flurry of beads, babes, booze, and Cajun culture.

10. Harold's Cave Creek Corral
Got a sexy or surreal Mardi Gras costume? Or the ability to stuff dozens of crawfish in your craw? Take a trip up to this Cave Creek roadhouse where prizes will be awarded during its Mardi Gras event to those wearing the coolest costume (or the most beads), as well as those who can eat the most crawfish. Drink specials, a $14.99 buffet, swing dance lessons, and live music by the 52nd Street Jazz Band and EastonAshe are also planned. The party starts at 6 p.m.

9. Venues Cafe
A New Orleans-like fete will take place at the Carefree establishment, boasting live entertainment from local saxophone star (and America's Got Talent contestant) Bryne Donaldson, a special menu of bayou-style selections, and a bar brimming with hurricane cocktails and other luxe libations. Ladies can also partake in bottomless glasses of red and white wine for $10 per person. The music starts at 7 p.m.

8. Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife
There will be no shortage of Fat Tuesday beverages being poured by the barkeeps at Marc's, including pints of Mardi Gras punch, $3 rum drinks, and plenty of the requisite Hurricanes. Ladies get $2.50 you-call-its, domestic bottled beers, pint drafts, and other cocktails from 8 p.m. until midnight. Bowls of Jambalaya or Cajun shrimp and pasta will be served up for $7 each, beads will be thrown out all night, and the VJs of Marc's will be broadcasting "hot girl" videos in the lounge after 9 p.m. Admission is free.

7. Rockbar Inc.
Party with your favorite Scottsdale drink-slingers and other service staff during the Fat Tuesday Industry Party, which promises "crawfish, drinks, [and] chicks." If that ain't enough, beads will be tossed out all night long, rock 'n' roll will blast from the DJ booth, and Jake Dean and the Granting will also perform. The fun starts at 10 p.m.

6. The Compound Grill
Renowned jazz chanteuse Margo Reed will gather together a few of her friends and favorite local musicians on Fat Tuesday to celebrate the release of her latest CD and fill the evening with smooth and soulful sounds. Bottles of wine will be available for half price during the party, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $3 for students, $5 for everyone else.

5. Karamba
A carnival-style atmosphere will takeover the infamous CenPho gay dance club as female illusionist Savannah hosts a raucous affair featuring a Mardi Gras costume contest, $3 beer bust, $2 domestics and well drinks, and Latin sounds from DJ Stixx. Doors open at 9 p.m.

4. Catalina Sports Bar
Bartender Raven La Chapelle will be mixing up New Orleans-style Hurricanes for $5 each in honor of the occasion using her own take on the classic cocktail. In addition to the normal blend of booze and fruity nectars, she'll add in pineapple marinated in Myers's Rum and splashes of amaretto and grapefruit juice. "It definitely packs an added kick," La Chapelle says.

3. Barney's Boathouse
DJ Astonish will be in the mix all evening during the Mardi Gras celebration at this Old Town Scottsdale party palace, which will also offer drink deals like two-for-one adult beverages at all three of its bars. Meanwhile, the kitchen will be cooking up special Fat Tuesday dishes like crawfish, gator tail, and gumbo. Doors open at 11 a.m.

2. Pranksters Too
Both the main bar and the Jester Room at Pranksters Too will a be joining in on the Fat Tuesday revelry with drinks like Hurricanes and raspberry-flavored Abita, free beads and giveaways, and such Cajun treats as red beans and rice, jambalaya, and gumbo. Local rocker Chuck E. Baby and boogie-woogie star Rob Rio will perform. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m.

1. Fat Tuesday
We can't think of a more apropos place to spend the day than at this party-hardy Mill Avenue theme bar. While it typically celebrates all things Mardi Gras (particularly the drinks) 360-odd days out of the year, the place really kicks things during its namesake holiday. The shared patio between Fat Tuesday and Canteen will be fenced off to provide a block party atmosphere and provide access to both establishments. Inside the packed party, barkeeps will serve up the joint's signature frozen drinks, a crawfish boil takes place, and local bands and DJs perform. Gates open at 5 p.m..

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