Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, March 5, this year, the final day of Carnival before Ash Wednesday, and Atlanta is flying its gold, green and purple colors between now and then, hosting a variety of New Orleans-style celebrations throughout the city. Opportunities to join second line brass band parades, sip hurricanes and dine on red beans and rice abound across the metro area. Here are seven options.
Battery Atlanta — the shopping, dining and entertainment district located at the home of the Atlanta Braves, SunTrust Park — is the site of a Mardi Gras party hosted by Live! at the Battery and featuring entertainment by New Orleans-style brass band Black Sheep Ensemble. Guests can also check out the scene at PBR Atlanta country bar and Sports & Social sports bar and gaming parlor. A $35 Mardi’s Party ticket includes five drink tickets and a serving of Lowcountry boil, featuring shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. A $15 Show Me Your Beads ticket comes with three drink tickets and Mardi Gras swag. For $10, a Bourbon Street ticket includes one drink ticket. All ticket buyers receive a complimentary signature glass. (8 p.m.-3 a.m. March 2. $10-$35. Ages 21 and older. Battery Atlanta, 800 Battery Ave., Atlanta. 404-965-2511, liveatthebatteryatlanta.com)
Don your finest ball gown or tuxedo and glittery mask for this formal masquerade gala celebrating Mardi Gras in high style. Men are encouraged to bring handkerchiefs to wave during the second line, and women are encouraged to bring parasols. Don’t own a parasol? No worry. Vendors will be selling them onsite. Entertainment will be provided by a brass band, singer Phillippia Williams, as well as DJ KIX, DJ Jack Benny and DJ E-Clazz. Food vendors will sell Cajun-inspired dishes, and there will be a cash bar. Guests can also BYOB and purchase set ups. (8 p.m.-1 a.m., Feb. 23. $60. Ivy Community Center, 3850 Stone Road, Atlanta. atlmardigras.com)
Hit the streets with fellow revelers at this annual Virginia-Highland pub crawl hosted by Atlanta Bar Tours. Register between 6-11 p.m. at Neighbor’s Pub (752 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta) and get a wristband that qualifies you for discounted drinks and food at 10 participating bars and restaurants in Virginia-Highland. Specials include $3 house cocktails, $2 cans of beer and $1 hurricane shots at Fontaine’s Oyster House; a $9 beer-and-burger combo at George’s; and a complimentary shot, $3 cans of Pontoon beer and $3 chili cheese dogs at Neighbor’s Pub. Other participating restaurants and bars include Bar-Bacoa, Tiki Iniki, Dark Horse Tavern, 10 High, Diesel, Genki and Moe’s & Joe’s. Sabor Brass Band provides entertainment. (6 p.m.-2 a.m. Feb. 23. $19.50. Ages 21 and older. Virginia-Highland neighborhood. 404-456-4655, atlantabartours.com)
A bird’s-eye view of the Atlanta skyline provides the dramatic backdrop and a brass band provides the entertainment at this rooftop party at Ponce City Market. Guests are invited to enjoy a serving of crawfish boil, made with andouille sausage, corn, potatoes and plenty of Louisiana mudbugs. There will also be a chicken variety, as well as hushpuppies, red beans and rice, muffaletta deviled eggs and king cake. Beverages will be available for purchase. Ticket holders also get access to other rooftop attractions, including Nine Mile Station beer garden and Skyline Park, featuring carnival-style games, rides and miniature golf. (3-7 p.m. March 2. $55. The Roof at Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta. www.poncecityroof.com)
Venerable Atlanta nightclub Blind Willie’s, which celebrates its 33rd anniversary tomorrow with performances by Sandra Hall, Big Bill Morganfield, Gloria Meadows and George Hughley, is a natural spot for celebrating Mardi Gras thanks to its long tradition of serving up hot Cajun food and cool blues acts. On March 5, The Atlanta Crawdaddies will perform New Orleans-style jazz and zydeco music while guests dine on jambalaya, gumbo and red beans and rice. (6 p.m. doors open, 8:30 p.m. music starts. March 5. Blind Willie’s, 828 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-873-2583, blindwilliesblues.com)
The Boulevard at Avalon will be transformed into Bourbon Street for a Mardi Gras pub crawl from 5-7 p.m. on March 5. At the concierge, revelers can pick up masks, beads and a special passport that qualifies them for New Orleans-style drink and food specials at three participating restaurants, including Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar, Marlow’s Tavern and Branch & Barrel. Three stamps on a passport qualify participants to enter a drawing for a Mardi Gras prize package. Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be a live music masquerade in the plaza. (5-9 p.m. March 5. Free. Avalon, 400 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-765-1000, experienceavalon.com)
Popular New Orleans-style Wasted Potential Brass Band, which drops its first record, “Ruining the Surprise Party,” later this year, headlines the party at Venkman’s, a restaurant and music venue in Old Fourth Ward. Special guests Dillon and Lobsterdamus share the bill. Dine on burgers, salads or hanger steak to the sounds of this raucous, tuba-driven band. (10 p.m. Feb. 22. $12. Venkman’s, 750 Ralph McGill Blvd., Atlanta. 470-225-6162, venkmans.com, ticketfly.com)
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