Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Where to find the best Mardi Gras celebrations in North Texas
Expect beads and costumes galore!
The Super Bowl is over, but the party is just getting started in New Orleans, where balls, galas, and beads are thrown with much fanfare. When the spirit of Mardi Gras takes over Dallas-Fort Worth, it does so in three ways: with Cajun food, jazz music, and outrageous costumes.
Grab a feather boa, a couple of friends, and follow our weekend guide to navigating the North Texas Mardi Gras madness.
Oak Cliff acts as Dallas’ French Quarter
Oak Cliff is throwing the biggest party for Mardi Gras weekend. The celebrations kick off Saturday, February 9 with the 4th Annual Dash of the Beads 5K at Kidd Springs Recreation Center. The race begins at 10 a.m. and takes a new route from years' past. Proceeds from the event benefit non-profit Finding Inspired Dog Owners, which is developing the neighborhood’s first dog park.
Saturday night, The Kessler Theater hosts OCarnivale Masquerade Ball. For $50, patrons enjoy live music from Club Wood and the Inner City All-Stars, as well as free food and New Orleans-style Hurricane cocktails. Attendees are encouraged to go all-out on attire, as there will be a costume contest.
Sunday, February 10 is sure to be a fun day in Oak Cliff starting at 1 p.m. with the Bishop Arts District Crawfish Boil and Beer Garden. Following eats and drinks is the notorious Mardi Gras parade, which in past years has attracted crowds of 10,000. Just $20 will buy you a seated spot on the bleachers to gawk at marching bands and floats traveling from W. Davis Street to Bishop Arts.
Where to find the best costumes
Stop by the Cedar Springs neighborhood Saturday for a festively flamboyant carnivale that includes dancing, face painting, and one-of-a-kind couture. The party spans five bars — Station 4, Sue Ellen’s, Throckmorton Mining Company, The Rose Room, and JR’s — and we hear there will be a butt-sketch artist on hand, so you can cross that off your bucket list.
McKinney’s furry friends can celebrate, too! Join them Sunday, February 10 for the Krewe of Barkus parade in the city’s town square, where canines of all sizes will strut their best costume for judges and take part in training sessions.
Where to hear the best music
Grammy award-winning polka band Brave Combo will perform a Mardi Gras-themed show backed by the Dallas Wind Symphony on Fat Tuesday. "New Orleans jazz and zydeco meet Brazilian Carnival with a little bit of Caribbean reggae," the website says. Tickets to the 8 p.m. showing range from $19 to $49 and can be purchased here.
Scat Lounge has long been a staple of the Fort Worth jazz scene, and on Tuesday, February 12, they’re bringing in a sliver of New Orleans — Alcedrick Todd and Chris Milyo of the Krewe of Swing. Scat Lounge begins serving up red beans and rice promptly at 7 p.m., so don’t be late. Food is available only while supplies last. This event is free.
Fat Tuesday specials
Is your Fat Tuesday plan to find a nice wide chair and plop down in it for several hours indulging in good food and good times? The Free Man, Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe, The Pour House, Bone Daddy’s, and Buttons Restaurant are all hosting Fat Tuesday parties. If you’re looking for something adventurous, head to the Dallas Arts District for a “dishcrawl,” which is similar to a pub crawl but focused around food. If you’re looking for something mellower, Hotel St. Germain has a set menu for $45 a head. And, yes, that includes King Cake.
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