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Bon Temps: Where to celebrate Mardi Gras in Charleston

Let the good times roll



Charleston may not have Bourbon Street, but we’ve got King, and there are plenty of Mardi Gras parties going down on and off the peninsula.

Fat Tuesday is Feb. 12, but many local places plan to get the party started early, with celebrations parading through the week. Market Street Saloon is spearheading the festivities parties on Fri. Feb. 8, a burlesque show on the 9th, and a Fat Tuesday blowout on the 12th.

The Royal American is getting down on Friday the 8th. They’re inviting guests to boogie N’awlins style to live tunes by The St. Charles Crew for a $5 cover at the door. There will be free party favors.

Mardi Gras heads to the beach Sat. Feb. 9 for the sixth annual Folly Gras parade. Center Street will be closed from 12-5 p.m. as a parade of cars, floats, trucks, golf carts, people, and pets march down to the beat of live music. Five bands will be playing on stages set up along the parade route from Tides Hotel to East Hudson Avenue. If you dress the part you’re welcome to walk in the parade, and if you dress up your vehicle and want to drive, meet at West Arctic at 1:30 p.m. to line up. Awards will be given for the best spirit, best golf cart, and best costume, and food vendors will be competing for the best New Orleans fare.

After the parade on Saturday, head down to the Northwoods King Street Grille for some Mardi Gras Madness. There will be $1 Bud Lights, $2 Hurricanes, and music by DJ R Dot, and DJ Precise. There will be also be a  $100 cash prize and free spring semester of tanning awarded to the girl with the most beads by 1 a.m. As far as we can tell, there are no rules on how she has to acquire them. The whole affair will be photographed by Palmetto Shots.

Voodoo Tiki Bar is hosting their annual Fat Tuesday celebration on Tues. Feb. 12, with New Orleans-inspired food and drink specials. The festivities will start at 6pm with Quentin Baxter’s Dixieland, followed by the Who Dat! Brass Band, and a musical night cap with a late night dance party with Quiana Parlor. The cover will be $5, and costumes are encouraged.

Staying true to their partying reputation, Mynt will be holding a Fat Tuesday Masquerade on the 12th with music by DJ Rehab. There will be $2 Corona, $3 Soco, $3 Margaritas, $6 pitchers of hurricanes, and $1 tacos to munch on.

The Music Farm will be participating in the celebrations with their Winter Masquerade Ball on February 16th. All ages are welcome to hear music by Elliot Lipp (Pretty Lights Music), Bitch Please, Intermixture, DJ John Kutter, Skitch, and BLKMRKT. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $17 at the door. Costumes, masks, and crazy attire are encouraged but not required at the show.

Proof will be ringing in Fat Tuesday with a party on Monday night from 10 p.m. until the $4 housemade hurricanes run out. There will be specialty cocktails and Creole -nspired food, with a half-price cocktail list and live music by the Proof Allstars on trumpet, sax, bass, and percussion.

The 9th annual Mardi Crawl on Shem Creek will be held at the Lowcountry Parrot Head Club on Saturday Feb. 23. Be at Red’s Ice House at noon to register for the crawl to six participating restaurants in Shem Creek. The crawl will last from 1-6pm and feature food and drink specials, interactive games, and live entertainment. Circle back to Red’s for the afterparty with live music at 6pm. Tickets to participate are $25 in advance and $30 at the event, and proceeds will benefit the South Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s association and other local charities.

It’s Fat 2sDay at Cha Cha’s Tequila Bar, and they'll have $2 tequila, tecate, and tacos, with music by DJ Natty Heavy. Two $50 gift cards will be given away at midnight to the lady and fella with the most beads.

If you feel like driving out to Summerville to party this Saturday Feb. 9, the drive to The 50 Yard Line Sports Bar will be well worth it. They’re going all out with beads, masks, and more beads. There will be $2 jello shots, $3 well drinks, and a $50 bar tab raffle to help keep your wallets thick. Play pool on one of the three tables, or watch the cage dancers jam to music by DJ Cam...yeah, we didn’t know cage dancers actually existed either.

If you’re interested in throwing your own Mardi Gras fête, the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Palmer Campus, is offering a class for $59 on Mon. Feb. 11. Learn how to make creole-inspired recipes like shrimp and avocado salad with andouille and balsamic vinaigrette, cornmeal crusted chicken fingers with a cajun remoulade and creole rice pilaf. You can even prepare something sweet for the kids, like bananas foster crèpes.

Make your Mardi Gras celebration spicy at Wasabi’s Mardi Gras International Carnival Party on Friday Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. DJ E One and DJ Leo will be on track. It's a $5 cover, but ladies get in for free.

Tabbuli will be blending frozen hurricanes on their outdoor heated patio for a good ol’ Southern-style Fat Tuesday.

Beads, go go girls, fun and debauchery will not be in short supply this Saturday at Big John’s Tavern. There's no cover,  and they'll have specials including $3 Firefly sweet tea vodka, SoCo, and craft beer. And don't forget that it's $1 FePBRuary at Big John’s.

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