Mardi Gras celebrations date back for centuries as a cherished day of wild partying, drinking and merriment before the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday). Of course, New Orleans has certainly put its defining mark on Fat Tuesday with traditions like beads, krewes, king cakes and jazz-filled balls. But if you don’t have plans to celebrate in the Big Easy, no worries. There’s still plenty of revelries to be had around Georgia. So, let the zydeco rock and the good times roll with these nine Mardi Gras festivities around the metro — and beyond.
First Annual Alpharetta Mardi Gras Bar Crawl
While it’s not quite Bourbon Street, the Alpharetta City Center has a relaxed open container law, so you can enjoy the experience of roaming from bar to bar with a drink in hand for this Mardi Gras Bar Crawl. For $50 per person, the self-guided crawl includes a drink and bite at each of the six participating restaurants. For example: at Holmes, guests can indulge in house-made boudin sausage while sipping hurricanes whereas Lapper Seafood Market serves up smoked trout croquettes for bar crawlers.
Starting at 3 p.m. Feb. 22. $50. Alpharetta Mardi Gras Bar Crawl. Alpharetta Downtown Square, Alpharetta. Tickets available at eventbrite.com or facebook.com/events/733692567036817.
RELATED VIDEO: Why is Mardi Gras called Fat Tuesday?
Mardi Gras on The Roof
Live music from Trio Jockamo and Will Scruggs will set the mood for this New Orleans-style fête on the rooftop of Ponce City Market. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., children can enjoy face painters, snacks and crafts while parents may find more reasons to relish in classic Louisiana concessions, such as gumbo, hurricanes and hand grenades.
For an additional fee (starting at $20), guests can opt in for the rooftop’s crawfish boil, which will include andouille sausage, muffulettas, king cakes and more. Advance tickets are recommended. The family-friendly crawfish boil begins at 3 p.m. while the adults-only (21+) boil will begin at 7 p.m.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Feb. 22. $15 admission to Mardi Gras party or $35 per child/ $55 per adult for Crawfish Boil, which includes party admission. The Roof at Ponce City Market. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 770-999-1530, poncecityroof.com.
Recovery Brunch at Nine Mile Station
Head back to Ponce City Market’s rooftop for Sunday brunch at Nine Mile Station. The Big Easy-inspired brass band FunkCake will be onsite performing for brunch-goers. In addition to regular menu items, Nine Mile Station will also serve up specialties such as king cake sticky buns, Gulf oysters and shrimp jambalaya. Reservations are encouraged.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 23. $20 per person deposit required for reservation. Nine Mile Station at The Roof on Ponce. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. Atlanta. 770-999-1532, 9milestation.com.
Mardi Gras Live! 2020 at Live! at the Battery Atlanta
With the declaration that their third annual Mardi Gras party will be their biggest celebration yet, expect to find plenty of fun—beaucoup fun, actually. The 21-and-up event will offer partygoers a souvenir cup, complimentary drink and live music. With the festivities spread across the indoor and outdoor venue, the party also features fortune-tellers and specialty Mardi Gras cocktails. Opt to partake in the VIP experience, where guests can dine on crawfish, fried alligator bites, Cajun empanadas and king cakes. Plus, get there on time for the “mini parade,” which will march through the Battery to kick off the event.
8-11 p.m. Feb. 22. Tickets starting at $20. 825 Battery Ave. SE, Suite 600, Atlanta. 404-965-2511, liveatthebatteryatlanta.com.
Mardi Gras Pop-Up Bars
This month, Atlanta channels the infamous French Quarter bars with a few fun bar overhauls. At Best End Brewery, which turns into a Mardi Gras-themed pop-up restaurant for the month of February (until Feb. 25), guests can chow down on po’boys and throw down on Carnival-inspired cocktails. Plus, the venue will award a Pardi Gras king and queen each night. Similarly, Tapa Tapa, which has hosted Miracle on Monroe (the popular annual Christmas-themed pop-up bar), will also adorn its venue with a festive display of purple, green and gold for their Mardi Gras Midtown bar. Enjoy crafted cocktails like their NOLA Julep Sour, and choose from menu items, such as vegetarian red beans and rice, Cajun charcuterie and beignets.
Through Feb 25. Free entry. Pardi Gras at Best End Brewery, 1036 White St. SW, Atlanta. 470-391-0999, bestendbrewing.com.; Through Feb 25. Free entry. Mardi Gras Midtown at Tapa Tapa, 931 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta. 404-481-5226, popup-atl.com.RELATED: More than a dozen ways to celebrate Mardi Gras at metro Atlanta restaurants and bars
Fat Tuesday NOLA vs. ATL at Escobar
Escobar, the tapas restaurant owned by Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz, is bringing the “504” to the “404” with their Mardi Gras celebration. Promoting free entry with RSVP, Escobar patrons can dine on their regular menu along with specials like gumbo, beignets, crawfish étouffée and hurricanes. Get into the spirit with free beads and masks while New Orleans bounce music (a genre of hip-hop and dance made famous in the city) plays throughout the night as the restaurant stays open an extra hour for the celebration.
9 p.m.-2 a.m. Feb 25 -26. Free entry. Fat Tuesday NOLA vs. ATL at Escobar, 327 Peters St. SW, Atlanta. 404-941-7907, escobaratlanta.com. RSVP at eventbrite.com.
Red Sky Tapas
The restaurant invites in jazz band PR3 Project and guest chef Eric Nelson for their Fat Tuesday tapas dinner. While the bar serves New Orleans signatures like Sazeracs and Vieux Carres, dinner menu items will consist of crawfish hush puppies, gumbo, blackened shrimp pasta and Cajan shrimp and grits.
4-9 p.m. Feb. 25. Free entry. Red Sky Tapas, 1255 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 16, Marietta. 770-973-0100, redskytapas.com.
Tybee Island 12th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration
Up for a drive? Find your way to Tybee Island, just four hours south of Atlanta, for their 12th annual Mardi Gras Celebration. A parade will start the festivities at 2 p.m., where spectators can see a procession of floats, brigades and drum lines. The parade route will run roughly a mile from Memorial Park, traveling south toward Butler Avenue and concluding near the Tybrisa roundabout.
Following the parade, a live concert from Willie Jackson & the Tybee Blues Band will begin at 3 p.m. on Tybrisa Street. And a 4 p.m. costume contest will conclude the celebration, in which the winners will be crowned 2020 Mardi Gras Tybee King and Queen.
Starting at 2 p.m. Feb. 22. Free. Tybrisa Street, Tybee Island. 912-786-5444, visittybee.com.
St. Marys 26th Annual Mardi Gras Festival & Parade
Expect a full day of fun on the Southeast coast of Georgia. The 26th annual St. Mary’s Mardi Gras Festival will feature a parade at 10 a.m. Visitors can also peruse a wide selection of food, crafts and art vendors, which will be on hand for the duration of the festival. The event also promises entertainment for kids and a free concert from Pam Tillis and Waterloo Revival at 2:30 p.m.
9 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 22. Free. St. Marys Annual Mardi Gras Festival & Parade. Downtown St. Marys, St. Marys, Ga. 912-882-4000, visitstmarys.com/mardi-gras-festival.html.
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