As Mardi Gras approaches on Tuesday, March 1, folks may wonder where they can get their fixin’ of Southern food and fun. Whether it’s breakfast beignets, Gumbo or a place to party, Denver has what you’re looking for to get in the New Orleans holiday spirit.
Saturday, February 26
Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off & Carnivale Parade
When: February 26, 11 a.m.
Where: Soda Springs Park, 35 Park Ave., Manitou Springs
Cost: $0.75 per tasting
The Lowdown: Walk around, savor the smell of gumbo and even taste test it at the 28th year of the Gumbo Cook-Off. 20 chefs, professional and amateur, will be cooking up their best version of gumbo for just $0.75 per sample. After filling your stomach, sit back, relax and stay to watch the Carnivale Parade!
All-Out Mardi Crawl: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon
When: February 26, 8 a.m.
Where: Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 W Morrison Rd., Lakewood
Cost: $40 – $80, register here
The Lowdown: Get your land legs in shape and wear your best Mardi Gras race gear for this one. Near the base of the Red Rocks Amphitheater, All-Out Multicourse Productions will be hosting the 6th annual Mardi Crawl 5K, 10K and half marathon. Included in registration are custom-molded finisher medals, souvenir race bibs, distance stickers, free race pictures and a post-race meal.
Denver Mardi Gras
When: February 26, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver Tech Center, 7801 East Orchard Rd., Greenwood Village
Cost: General admission $35-$40, get tickets here
The Lowdown: Party like you’re on Bourbon Street at this hotel takeover. Entertainment will have no limits – from the Denver Selfie Museum to live music and DJs, marching bands, burlesque, tarot readers, face painters, magicians, jugglers and 12,000 beads. There will also be a variety of cajun food to enjoy like muffuletta sandwiches, beef jambalaya stuffed burritos and more.
Carnival Masquerade Party and Mexico Trip Contest
When: February 26, 7 p.m.
Where: Que Bueno Suerte, 1518 S Pearl St., Denver
Cost: Prices vary, make a reservation here
The Lowdown: Dinner, dancing and drink specials! The party features a special three-course menu: a seafood gumbo with a Mexican twist to star, a choice of Pescado Zarandeado (saucy, spicy barbecued Snapper) or Beauf Gras (blackened ribeye) for the main entrée, and King Cake for dessert. There will also be specialty cocktails and Q4 tequila flights. The mask contest, open to the public, will commence at 9 p.m. — the winner crowned “best mask” will win a trip for two to Jalisco, Mexico to visit the G4 Tequila Distillery.
Monday, February 28
Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil
When: February 28, 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: Platt Park Brewing Company, 1875 South Pearl St., Denver
Cost: $40, get tickets here
The Lowdown: Indulge in an All-U-Can-Eat Crawfish Boil featuring a cajun boil of crawfish, corn, andouille sausage and red potatoes from the cooks of Gate Deli & Grog.
Tuesday, March 1
Mardi Gras Celebration with No Hands Brass Band
When: March 1, 6 p.m.
Where: Dazzle, 1512 Curtis St., Denver
Cost: $10, $15, get tickets here
The Lowdown: Listen to the billowing brass of trumpets, saxophones, trombones, sousaphones and drums with the No Hands Brass Band. If you can’t be in New Orleans, let this nine-piece Colorado band transport you there for the night.
The Brothers of Brass Mardi Gras Party
When: March 1, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: So Many Roads Museum and Brewery, 918 W 1st Ave., Denver
Cost: $10, get tickets here
The Lowdown: Come hear the Denver-based horn and drum outfit, The Brothers of Brass, perform a Mardi Gras show and play street music.
Saturday, March 5
Mardi Gras Bellydance Show
When: March 5, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Mercury Cafe Denver, 2199 California St., Denver
The Lowdown: Sit back, order a drink at the bar from a local brewery and watch local and regional artists bellydance and do other theatrical performances in the downstairs Cabaret Room of the Mercury Cafe.
Sunday, March 6
Dairy Block Petite Parade
When: March 6, 12 – 3 p.m.
Where: Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Denver
Cost: Free, register float here
The Lowdown: “Laissez les bons temps rouler” — or let the good times roll — at the 4th annual Petite Parade in the heated Dairy Block Alley with live music and Denver’s Handsome Little Devils. Individuals can enter in the parade by creating a shoebox float with the chance to win Most Original Float, Best Family Float, Funniest Float and more. Floats must be on wheels, 2 feet long, 2 feet wide and shorter than 3 feet tall.
Two Authentic New Orleans Restaurants to Try
Lucile’s Creole Cafe
When: Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Lucile’s Creole Cafe, 275 S Logan St., Denver
The Lowdown: Immerse yourself in a New Orleans brunch with a breakfast beignet, creole omelet, shrimp and grits, an andouille po’boy and more at this family establishment that has served Colorado since 1980.
Nola Voodoo Tavern
When: Wednesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Tuesday Closed
Where: Nola Voodoo Tavern, 2231 E Bruce Randolph, Denver
The Lowdown: End the party at this New Orleans-inspired bar. Henry Batiste, the owner and New Orleans native, brings homemade recipes from his mother and grandma to the Cole neighborhood.
Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: Que Bueno Suerte’s Margarita & Mask Making Party on February 22 is canceled.