Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mardi Gras events

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 6:43 PM

By Lizzy Encarnacao

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Mardi Gras season has long since begun in New Orleans. For those who have the time and the stamina, it’s a seven-hour drive to the Big Easy. Fortunately, Atlanta found a way to import some Mardi Gras fun.

Parish Foods & Goods hosts a party with enough beads, beer and food to go around Feb. 21. Plenty of tents and heaters will keep the winter chills at bay as Charlie Wooten’s Zydefunk performs. In the spirit of community, Parish will accept donations on behalf of the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

If you’re looking to get your hands on a traditional Mardi Gras king cake — the giant sweet roll braided with cinnamon and sugar and topped with green, purple and gold icing — you can avoid grocery store cakes or making your own by placing an order with Parish; pickup is Feb. 22.

Northside Tavern hosts a king cake party Feb. 20 featuring Zydefunk. If your slice of cake has the plastic baby in it, you’re declared the king of the party and win a $50 bar tab.

Of course there's nothing wrong with outsourcing. Many bakeries in Louisiana, such as Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery and Gambino's, accept orders online and will ship anywhere in the continental United States. Be warned: Some of these cakes are quite large, so it’s not advisable to eat an entire one yourself. After all, the spirit of Mardi Gras calls for a party.

Front Page News hosts the Little Five Points Mardi Gras Music & Food Festival Feb. 21. The celebration features five bands, including Kindsized, New Orleans funk and blues band the Squirrelheads, and Little Five Points-based band Webster. Guests can eat, drink and be merry with an extensive New Orleans menu that goes way beyond jambalaya and SoCo Hurricanes.

The Steamhouse Lounge hosts Oysterfest at its new Midtown location Feb. 21-22. The two-day event features more than 40,000 pounds of oysters and 100 gallons of Steamhouse lobster bisque. Since Oysterfest runs until sunset, you'll have plenty of time to pack an evening Mardi Gras party into your schedule.

If you’re a purist and prefer to put off your celebration until Fat Tuesday, the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association hosts a Mardi Gras dance party Feb. 24. With a free dance lesson preceding the dance itself, you can learn how to Cajun-waltz and jitterbug before the DJ takes the stage.

(Photo by bitzcelt/

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