If you're as broke as I am and can't get yourself down to New Orleans this weekend to celebrate Mardi Gras, you're actually in luck. No, I don't have news of a fabulous JetBlue sale, but with dozens of fabulous Fat Tuesday celebrations happening across the city over the next week, I promise you can still afford to party Louisiana style, right here in Boston. From dance nights to Cajun-style feasts to charity balls, there are options for every budget.
Mardi Gras, Hurricane Style
Hurricane O'Reilly's, Purple Shamrock, Coogan's, Black Rose, and Jose McIntyre's -- Friday, February 17
Hurricane O'Reilly's boasts the "spirit of Mardi Gras and the French Quarter" in the heart of Boston year round, so I'm not surprised they're hosting a Fat Tuesday celebration. But this entire family of bars, all owned by The Glynn Hospitality Group, is teaming up with Southern Comfort to bring $5 hurricane drinks and live jazz music to all party attendees. Cover is free at all locations.
Mardi Gras Madness
House of Blues -- Friday, February 17
This 18th annual charity ball, which benefits the Chrons and Colitis foundation, will feature an open beer and wine bar, dinner and dessert buffet and live music. Hosted by House of Blues, the club will be decked out for the occasion. Tickets are $100 in advance, $110 at the door.
Mardi Gras Party
The Greatest Bar -- Friday, February 17 & Saturday, February 18
With four floors to peruse, The Greatest Bar is hosting not one, but two Mardis Gras parties. On Friday night, Hype Nightlife will be hosting DJ Cam, DJ Garebear, DJ El Sid and DJ Tuck, all putting their twist on top 40 and house on different floors. Night two will be hosted by Boston VIP list. There will be plenty of beads and masks to go around, plus the ladies of Southern Comfort will be handing out special giveaways. According to the bar, this party promises to turn the North End's Friend Street into NOLA's very own Bourbon Street.
A $10 cover begins at 9pm on both nights, but if you call ahead to 617-367-0544, they'll knock the price down to just $5.
Mardi Gras Ball
TT and the Bears -- Saturday, February 18
This is the nineteenth installment of Shaun Wolf Wortis's Mardi Gras Ball, a tradition begun by Slide, a Boston-based band that was heavily influenced by New Orleans rhythm and blues. Despite the band's break up in 2000, the ball tradition was carried on by Wolf. This years headliners include Paul Ahlstrand, Scott Aruda, Ducky Carlisle, Mark Caughill, and of course Wolf himself. Tickets are $15 in advance.
Bourbon Street Event
Arts After Hours, Lynn -- Saturday, February 18
The Lynn-based theater company is hosting its second annual Bourbon Street event, featuring live music from Berklee band Elephant Wrecking Ball, known for their signature trombone sound. Peruse local art, meet artists and chow down on some creole-style food (jambalaya and pulled pork anyone?) plus choose from a selection of beer and wine. Proceeds from ticket sales ($15 each online or over the phone) will fund the remainder of the group's theater season.
Italia Unita Carnevale
Zumix Firehouse, East Boston -- Sunday, February 19
East Boston's Italia Unita non-profit is hosting their own twist on Carnevale. This Italian tradition shares the same religious significance as Mardis Gras -- a last chance to gorge on sweets before lent begins. From 3 PM to 6 PM, enjoy desserts like Pignolata and Chiacchiere, watch performers put on skits and jokes, and don a complimentary mask while you dance through Zumix Firehouse. Admission is a requested $10 donation at the door.
March in for Mardi Gras
Darryl's Corner Bar & Grill -- Friday, February 17 - Tuesday, February 21
This bar, self titled "the intersection of friends, food, and music" serves southern comfort food and hosts jazz every day of the week. This weekend, put on your masks and beads and head to Columbus Ave for a guaranteed Fat Tuesday-themed night.
Le Mardi Gras: Carnival New Orleans
Beehive -- Tuesday, February 21
If you're up for a weeknight adventure -- and in all fairness, this event is hosted on the actual date of Mardi Gras -- head to The Beehive to listen to the sounds of Danny Health & Wali Ali and devour Cajun-inspired specials by Chef Rebecca Newell. Have no fear, this jazz bar will be serving ample-sized Hurricanes so you'll be ready to break out your dancing shoes. The best part? No cover!
Authentic Louisiana cookin'
Tryst -- Tuesday, February 21
If a quiet night out on the town for dinner is more your thing, head to Tryst, whose very own Chef Turano worked with chefs from the heart of New Orleans to compile this special prixe fixe menu. Indulge in crispy fried chicken with creole BBQ and tomatillo pickles, slow roasted pork with black eyed pea and collard green gumbo, and of course, cinnamon and sugar beignets (pictured). If that's not enough to convince you, a percentage of the proceeds from dinner will go to the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, a New Orleans charity that facilitates the efforts of the hospitality industry to improve greater NOLA. Dinner will be served between 5 PM and 10 PM Tuesday night.
Throwed: Mardi Gras Party
Middle East Downstairs -- Tuesday, February 21
This electronic dubstep dance party rocks the Middle East every Tuesday, but this week they're going NOLA style and featuring Pinn Pinalle, a 4 piece full band performing live dubstep covers. Other performers include Skrillex, Nero, and E-Marce + Texas Mike. The event is 18+, tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 day of/at the door.
Socialete Mardi Gras Party
Umbria Prime -- Friday, February 24
If you haven't heard of this VIP social group, take comfort in one thing: they sure knows how to throw a party, and they're not missing out on the opportunity to celebrate Fat Tuesday. The event invitation encourages party-goes to put on their fanciest purple, green, and gold and head to the third floor of Umbria Prime, reserved exclusively for this bash. Tickets for non-members are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Bourbon Street Blowout
Bell in Hand -- Saturday, February 25
Can't pick just one locale? Pub crawl it is. Boston Event Guide is turning Faneuil Hall into the French Quarter on Saturday. Starting at Bell in Hand at 2 PM, a $15 ticket gets participants a t-shirt, free cover at all participating bars, plenty of beads, and drink specials along the way.
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About the authorRachel Kossman is a California girl and New England transplant who graduated from Northeastern University in 2011. She has a penchant for discovering new restaurants and bars, devouring Mexican food, More »
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