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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

It’s almost that time of year again – Mardis Gras!
Fat Tuesday falls on March 4th this year, but you don’t have to travel all the way to New Orleans to get a taste of the fun. There’s plenty going in the Boston area to help you celebrate and create a memorable Carnival experience in Massachusetts.
So as the old expression goes: Laissez les bons temps rouler! (“Let the good times roll!”) Here are some ideas on ways to celebrate:
1. The Mardis Gras Procession at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Come on down to Faneuil Hall to celebrate Fat Tuesday Boston-style! The Hot Tamales Brass Band will lead the Mardi Gras Procession of mini-floats through Faneuil Hall’s West End Promenade at 5 p.m. After the show, stop by one of Faneuil Hall Marketplace’s restaurants, including wagamama, Ned Devine’s, Cheers, and Dick’s Last Resort, that will have New Orleans-inspired menu items and special deals at their Mardis Gras parties. For more information, check online here.
2. The 7th Annual Mardis Gras Celebration at The Beehive

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Photo: A night out at The Beehive via Facebook

For the seventh year in a row, The Beehive is bringing New Orleans to Boston for diners and partygoers alike, with a night of swinging jazz music and NOLA-style dishes. The traditional jazz of BT New Orleans 2nd Line Brass Brand will feature Boston-based trombonist Brian Thomas from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. and is sure to be a crowd favorite. Chef Marc Orfaly will be serving up Cajun specials, such as Louisiana shrimp and grits, pan-fried catfish and seafood jambalaya. The regular menu will also be available, as will drink specials at the Beehive’s two bars. For reservations, click here or call 617-423-0069.
3. Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler Party at The Hawthorne
Mardi Gras will arrive in style in Kenmore Square this year at The Hawthorne. From 8:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m., the Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler party will have guests celebrating the New Orleans tradition in style, with featured cocktails like the Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, and Vieux Carre; a la carte classic Louisiana bites, including imported crawfish; and live jazz music. Tickets are on sale online for $75.00, which includes two drinks, and part of the proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training for the Boston Marathon. For more info, check out the Eventbrite page, or call 617-532-9150.

Photo: Mardi Gras Festivities at The Hawthorne via Facebook

4. Unbound Visual Arts Mardi Gras Party at The Castle Bar
For the second year in a row, Unbound Visual Arts is throwing a Mardi Gras bash at the Castle Bar in Brighton to support the area’s artists. With a variety of hor d’hoeuvres, a cash bar, live music and raffles throughout the night, you’ll be sure to have lots of fun and maybe even leave with some nifty prizes. There will be a slideshow of the members’ artwork, and you’ll be provided with materials to decorate your own Mardi Gras mask, too. For those looking to express your creativity, costumes and beads are encouraged! You can buy tickets for just $5 online or at the door.
5. Traditional Southern Cuisine at Estelle’s
With regular menu items like Fried Gulf White Shrimp Po’ Boy, Crispy Catfish Burger and Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Estelle’s in the South End is known for its delicious southern cuisine year-round. But to celebrate Mardis Gras this year, they’re cooking up something extra special. Executive Chef Eric Gburski will serve a New Orleans-style two-course prix fixe menu at $30.95 from 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., and the bar will feature the classic Mardis Gras cocktail with a twist, named the South End Hurricane. To find out more or reserve your spot in this culinary celebration, call Estelle’s at (857) 250-2999.

Photo: Jumbo Gulf White Shrimp via Facebook

After a long night out, it’s a whole lot easier for revelers to save their trip home until the next day. Fortunately, there is a wide range of accommodations in Boston that are perfect for travelers of all stripes. The iconic Omni Parker House is just a stone’s throw away from Faneuil Hall, as is The Langham; there are plenty of other places near the renowned market as well.
For those who spend their Tuesday evening in the Back Bay and South End areas, there’s no shortage of accommodations, either. The Colonnade provides a cozy overnight and the Mandarin Oriental, Boston offers true luxury. In the Kenmore Square area, Hotel Commonwealth and Eliot Hotel are always both good options. For a comprehensive guide to Boston lodgings, click here.
Do you have any special way that you like to celebrate Mardi Gras? Tell us in the comments!