Mardi Gras in Los Angeles
This February, Farmers Market is livening things up with the 26th Annual Farmers Market Mardi Gras celebration.
The traditional “Fat Tuesday” celebration, a major blowout held in advance of Ash Wednesday and Lent—a 40-day period of contemplation and abstinence—is feted in grand style around the world.
In the United States, the most famous Mardi Gras celebration takes place in New Orleans, where revelers parade throughout the city. Interestingly, although the city’s parade dates back to 1837, it is not the oldest such celebration in the country. In fact, Mobile, Alabama has the distinction of hosting the nation’s first-ever Mardi Gras parade in 1831, although public celebrations in that city date back to the early 1700s.
Angelenos, however, need travel no farther than Third & Fairfax to enjoy a down-home Cajun-style celebration, complete with lively music, great eats and colorful beads.
Mardi Gras festivities kick off on Saturday, Feb. 14, with strolling entertainment throughout the Market, followed by a performance by Market Mardi Gras favorite Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros on the West Patio at 5 p.m.
Look for tasty treats throughout the Market, including such New Orleans favorites as Jambalaya and perfectly spiced boiled crawfish at The Gumbo Pot. If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Gater Gumbo—The Gumbo Pot is one of the few places in Los Angeles where you can try this tasty reptile, which is said to taste just like chicken. You can also enjoy Abita pints for $4 at EB’s and 326 Beer & Wine.
On Sunday, Feb. 15, the day’s festivities kick off in a pet lovers bonanza during the annual Mutti Gras Pet Parade and Costume Contest, hosted in partnership with The Dog Bakery.
Led by a spirited band, costumed pups, and maybe even a cat, rabbit or turtle, will parade past the crowd, to assemble on the Plaza stage. The applauding audience will be the barometer that determines just who will win King and Queen of Mutti Gras, and the lucky winners will take home prizes from The Dog Bakery.
Sunday kicks things up a notch with a full schedule of strolling bands, kids crafts and activities and, yes, a Mardi Gras favorite, beads being tossed from the balcony outside the Farmers Market office, just above Gate 1. And unlike New Orleans, no R-rated activities are required to collect beads.
More culinary delights await Market visitors on Sunday, but those in a hurry can stop at a satellite stand in the Plaza where The Gumbo Pot will be serving beignets and chicory coffee from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also pick up tasty beignets at Bob's Doughnuts, or for a truly special treat enjoy tri-colored (yello, green and purple) King Cake from Normandie Bakery.
Sunday’s activities culminate with a rollicking performance by Grammy Award-nominee Lisa Haley & the Zydekats on the West Patio.
Return to Farmers Market on Tuesday, Feb. 17, for our Fat Tuesday evening party, starring Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros. Be sure to arrive early, the Market’s West Patio will fill up before the band starts at 6pm. Parade down to Short Order and get in the #MardiGras spirit with their $8 Hurricanes available only on Fat Tuesday.
26th Annual Farmers Market Mardi Gras
Saturday, Feb. 14
2-5 p.m.: The Wabash Wailers
5-8 p.m.: Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros
Sunday, Feb. 15
12-1 p.m.: Mutti Gras Pet Parade & Costume Contest w/ The Dog Bakery
12-3 p.m.: Bear Brass Band
1-4 p.m.: Strolling Jester
1:30-4:30 p.m.: Mardi Gras Hat Making with the Entertainment Group
1:30-4:30 p.m.: Face Painting
2-4 p.m.: T-Lou and His Super Hot Zydeco Band
2:30-5 p.m.: Jazzy Ash & The Leaping Lizards
5-7 p.m.: Lisa Haley & the Zydekats
Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17
6-9 p.m.: Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros