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Mardi Gras Celebrations in the City Proper

Mardi Gras, that annual Cajun carnival of pre-Lenten debauchery, rolls around this Tuesday. But just because Buffalo is a good 1,200 miles from New Orleans doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a box of Zatarain’s or a bucket of Popeye’s to partake in the fun. Local businesses around the city will be observing the holiday starting this weekend, and you’re invited to join them.

Saturday, February 25

What: Mardi Gras Masquerade

Where: Flying Bison Brewery, 840 Seneca Street

When: 1 to 5 p.m.

Cost: $25 at the door (includes food, 2 drinks, and favors)

Flying Bison is kicking things off with a beer-focused Mardi Gras party featuring Cajun food from The Louisiana Cookery, king cake from Mazurek’s Bakery (complete with plastic babies that, if found, score you free beers), and live Creole zydeco music from local band Black Rock Zydeco. In addition to their standard suite of beers, Flying Bison will be tapping a special cask brewed for the occasion and serving Hurricane-inspired cocktails made with local kombucha. Beads and masks will be provided, but costumes are encouraged—and may earn you free drinks.

Sunday, February 26

What: 10th Annual Mardi Gras Jam
Where: Sportsmens Tavern, 326 Amherst Street
When: 12 to 3 p.m.
Cost: $15 (tickets available at the door or in advance here)

If you didn’t get enough zydeco music on Saturday at Flying Bison, you’re in luck; Sportsmens Tavern will play host to a fundraising matinee performance by headliners Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys on Sunday. They will be joined by openers Ten Cent Howl and the Buffalo Brass Machine, who will perform separately and together as Ten Cent Brass Machine. All of the proceeds benefit The Big Easy in Buffalo, a program of Arts Services Initiative of WNY dedicated to exposing Western New Yorkers to Louisiana music and culture through live performances and music education.

Monday, February 27

What: Lundi Gras Celebration
Where: Toutant, 437 Ellicott Street
When: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Cost: No entry fee; food and drink available for purchase

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of New Orleans before Lent ruins all your fun, Toutant boasts some pretty legit credentials. Chef and owner James Roberts spent his formative years in a Louisiana shrimping and fishing community—a background that lends considerable Cajun and Creole influences to Toutant’s southern comfort food menu. And with Bourbon Street-inspired drink specials like $5 frozen daiquiris, hurricanes, beer and shots, and potent “hand grenade” cocktails, the team at Toutant clearly knows how to party like it’s the French Quarter. To soak up some of the alcohol, traditional Mardi Gras fare like red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, file’ gumbo, and king cake will be available, in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu. Costumes are encouraged and will be rewarded with beads.

Tuesday, February 28

What: Mardi Gras Pig Roast

Where: Fat Bob’s Smokehouse

When: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Cost: No entry fee; food and drink available for purchase

On Mardi Gras proper, you can head over to Fat Bob’s for live music by Zak Ward, an authentic pig roast, and food and drink specials like jambalaya, red beans and rice, and hurricane cocktails. A limited number of $2 pork sliders pulled fresh from the roast will be available starting at 6 p.m., so get there early if you want in.

Written by Caitlin Hartney

Caitlin Hartney

Caitlin has covered local food and drink for Buffalo Rising since 2015, having previously written for Artvoice, the Public, and the Buffalo News. She works full time in marketing communications and is earning her master's degree in history at University at Buffalo, the latter of which occasionally informs her writing. Most importantly, she likes the word "moist" and doesn't care who knows it. How else do you describe a great piece of cake?

View All Articles by Caitlin Hartney
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