Laissez les bons temps rouler!
The Queen City is channeling the Big Easy this weekend with plenty of Mardi Gras-themed events. Grab your beads, drink some hurricanes and get ready to party.
MainStrasse Mardi Gras Parade
MainStrasse is celebrating Mardi Gras with a parade and party this Saturday. The traditional parade features a raucous collection of floats, Big Heads (people wearing literal large papier-mâché heads), circus performers and various wandering intoxicated people weaving through the town. The parade steps off at Ninth and Philadelphia streets and ends at Fifth and Main streets. The event also promises beads and a light show. Afterward, pub crawl through MainStrasse as different bars will be offering up their own version of the New Orleans favorite Hurricane cocktail. Parade kicks-off at 7 p.m. Feb. 26. MainStrasse Village, Covington, facebook.com/MainStrasseVillage.
Mardi Gras at MadTree
MadTree does its best New Orleans impersonation this Saturday with Swing music from the Jazz Coasters and a special cocktail. Guests will each get a set of Mardi Gras beads with the purchase of a Hurricane-esque "Eye of the Storm." The drink features light and dark rum, grenadine, passionfruit, lime and soda water. 7-11 p.m. Feb. 26. Free admission. 3301 Madison Road, Oakley, facebook.com.
Mardi Gras at The Birdcage
This drag show and dance party features hostess Nichelle Kartier and a slew of guest queens. There will also be free beads and masks, plus drink specials. DJ Patrick B will spin tunes. Channel your own Mardi Gras spirit as The Birdcage says everyone is welcome to dress in theme. 5 p.m. Feb. 26. 927 Race St., Downtown, facebook.com/BirdcageCincinnati.
Crazy Fox Mardi Gras Party
The Crazy Fox hosts its annual Mardi Gras party. There will be king cakes, Hurricanes, jambalaya and Jell-O shots. The bar will also host a trivia event for guests to get some beads. The evening will raise funds for suicide prevention. 9 p.m.-midnight Feb. 26. Free admission. 901 Washington Ave., Newport, facebook.com.
Cincy Brass at Bircus Brewing
Cincy Brass — a self-described nine-piece “N’awlins Soul Meets Cincinnati Funk” group — will be bringing in the Mardi Gras spirit at Bircus. Wear your best beads. 7-11 p.m. Feb. 26. $10. 322 Elm St., Ludlow, eventbrite.com.
Bonus Fat Tuesday EventsFat Tuesday at HomeMakers
Over-the-Rhine's HomeMakers Bar is celebrating the spirit of Mardi Gras with a menu of fat-washed cocktails "inspired by our favorite New Orleans classics," says the bar in a release. This is the third year HomeMakers is hosting such an event, and this year it includes Creole bites by Halichea Edwards, a Jazz band and cocktails from Scott Augsburger. Try a French 75 with cream cheese-washed gin, vanilla, lemon and sparkling wine. Or a Zapp's Voodoo-washed daiquiri. 6-11 p.m. March 1. Free admission. 39 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, homemakersbar.com.
Braxton's Big Easy Bash
The Covington taproom is celebrating Fat Tuesday (aka the day before Lent) with live music from New Orleans-style band The Hot Magnolias and Cajun food. Parlor on Seventh will be providing bites including blackened catfish, andouille sausage skewers and bourbon cherry bread pudding. 5-10 p.m. March 1. Free admission. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, facebook.com.