Mardi Gras 2013: South Florida's Top Celebrations

Tuesday is arguably the worst day of the week. On Monday, you at least have that lingering feeling that it's still the weekend, otherwise called a hangover. But by Tuesday, you're well into your work/school week and are acutely aware that the upcoming weekend is far, far away. 

Before you go all Happiness Project out of despair, there's good reason to party it up on a school night--Mardi Gras is Tuesday, February 12 and it's time to paint the town purple, yellow, and green,. Even if you're not going to be showing your goods in exchange for beads on Bourbon Street, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate Fat Tuesday--unless you're giving up sex for the next 40 days of Lent. 

"Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!" (That's "let the good times roll" for all you non-French speakers).

Fat Tuesday at Fat Tuesday
What better place to celebrate Fat Tuesday than well, Fat Tuesday? Both the Cocowalk in Coconut Grove and South Beach locations will be pumping with live DJs, $3 PBR, and beads, lots and lots of beads. 

Price: Free Admission
Go Because: Home of the famous frozen blender drinks, Fat Tuesday is perhaps the only place where it's acceptable to drink your weight in strawberry daiquiris and not feel guilty about it. Oh, and did we mention there will be complimentary beads?

11 a.m.- 3 a.m., 3015 Grand Ave., ste 260, Coconut Grove, 305-441-2992; 918 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-534-1328

Mardi Gras Madness at Mardi Gras Casino 
Fire jugglers, magicians, beads, showgirls, and fireworks -- Mardi Gras Madness has all the makings of a Bourbon Street-style celebration. JP Soars and The Red Hots, the international blues championship winner and Blues Music Awards nominee, will take the stage at 9 p.m. for a live musical performance. If you're feeling lucky, you can take your shot at the slot machines or put your poker face to the test at the poker tables. Advance warning: you may hate yourself when you check your bank account balance on Wednesday morning. 

Price: Free admission
Go Because: There will be a stilt walkers -- just try not to bump into one. That could get ugly. 

2:00 p.m. to 11p.m., Concert is from 9 p.m.-10p.m., 831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200  

Mardi Gras and Zydeco Festival at The Fish House
Kendall is channeling The Big Easy with The Fish House's 6th annual Mardi Gras and Zydeco Festival. The old-fashioned crawfish boil will feature NOLA-style delicacies, including 600 pounds of crawfish, Cajun Jambalaya, and King Cake. Live Zydeco music will set the mood for feasting. Zydeco, by the way, is the traditional Cajun music that originated in Louisiana in the mid-18th century. (More familiarly, it's the type of tune you hear in the Zatarain's commercials.)

Price: Free admission
Go Because: It's probably the most authentic Mardi Gras celebration East of Louisiana. 

2p.m-12 a.m.,1000 SW 56th St., Miami, 305-595-8453

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