Thursday, February 16, 2012
Best bets for celebrating Mardi Gras in Dallas-Fort Worth
Again the carnival season has gone to the dogs -- and to Oak Ciff.
"Mardi Gras" literally means "Fat Tuesday," but that has never stopped the good times from rolling early. In fact, New Orleans' population has been known to double the weekend before. So gather your crew -- or Krewe, if you have one -- and celebrate. Festivities happen now through Tuesday and include many opportunities to collect beads and doubloons, taste crawfish and hurricane cocktails, and gawk at people -- and their four-legged friends -- in colorful costumes.
Mardi Gras Oak Cliff: Last year, the Bishop Arts District's parade day had 5,000 attendees and 800 pounds of mudbugs. We said "the weather could not have been more perfect," and temperatures this year should be near 60 for the crawfish boil and parade on Sunday. (But you might need a rain poncho for Saturday morning's Dash for the Beads or an umbrella to protect that costume for Saturday night's OCarnivale Masquerade Ball at Kessler Theater.) A bonus this year: Emporium Pies will sell its goodies at a pop-up shop near the weekend parties.
Other festivals: The Lake Dallas Mardi Gras Celebration is an annual family-friendly Fat Tuesday night party. There will be a parade, music by the N'awlins Gumbo Kings, a crawfish-eating competition, and a costume contest with prizes awarded based on "creativity, style, and concealed identify." GermanDeli European Food Store's pre-Lenten party is called Fasching, like in the homeland. On Sunday, visit the Colleyville store (and its parking lot tent) to taste German food, wine, and beer; compete in the costume contest; and enjoy music, dancing, and activities for kids.
Pooch parties: Dogs get excited about everything, so of course some seem to enjoy Mardi Gras -- even if it means they have to wear jester hats or feather masks. At Krewe of Barkus on Sunday, clothed canines and their owners will parade through downtown McKinney before the costume contest. Children with and without pets can also join the parade. (See the registration details.) Operation Kindness benefits from Mardi-Growl at Addison's BlackFinn. This Sunday event also includes a parade of dressed-up dogs, plus beads, king cake, and hurricanes. Mardi Gras For Mutts is for humans only, but hounds benefit because it's a fundraiser for the Metroplex Mutts rescue group. It's Saturday at Brooklyn Jazz Cafe and includes a performance by blues musician Zac Harmon, a silent auction, and more.
Mardi Gras Texas Style: Don't expect zydeco. Mardi Gras Texas Style has its own sound -- and there's nary a washboard player in sight. More than two dozen Red Dirt and other country acts will perform on five stages at the Automobile Building at Fair Park on Saturday. The line-up includes Eli Young Band, Reckless Kelly, Bleu Edmondson, Kyle Bennett, Josh Abbott Band, Joey Green, Brison Bursey, and Jason Boland. The event is "recommended for 17 and up due to 'Mardi Gras activities.'"
Mardi Gras Gumbo Party: Want to celebrate with the best gumbo, but don't know which restaurant has it? Help choose it during the KNON 12th Annual Mardi Gras Gumbo Party on Sunday at Poor David's. Taste samples from Alligator Cafe, Offshore's Nextdoor, Louisiana Red, Crawdads of Dallas, and Fish City Grill. Votes will be measured by "noisemeter."
Dining: There are options for almost every budget. Scat Jazz Lounge will have free red beans and rice on Tuesday. All locations of Aw Shucks and Big Shucks will offer pounds of crawfish for $5.99 each on both Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Alligator Cafe will have most of the items from its menu on a buffet, plus boiled crawfish, for $25. The Tuesday parking lot tent party also includes live music from Hashbrown, Cheryl Arena, Miss Marcy, and more. The Hotel St. Germain's Saturday night dinner includes Creole dishes, cocktails, king cake, beignets, and café au lait for $85.
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