It's totally cool that one of the wildest eating and drinking days of the year has ties in religion, but Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, has those roots.
The holiday, which is celebrated in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday, was created basically to gouge yourself in the rich, fatty, sinful foods that you're about to give up for Lent starting the next day.
Maybe not all of us practice the "giving up" part, but most of us can agree on the "party" aspect of it.
Though Mardi Gras is best associated with New Orleans, there are still plenty of places to party in south Florida:
The Big Easy Bar & Grill
Fat Tuesday street festival starts at 3 p.m. and lasts throughout the night. Featuring live music, a costume contest with a $100 prize, and Abitas, jambalaya, and red beans & rice for $3.
Shuck 'n Dive
Abita will pour freely at the beer tent, which goes perfectly with the mud puppies you're consuming at the crawfish boil, which starts at noon. Dance from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. to a live five-piece band.
Crawfish are shipped in straight from Louisiana for a giant boil at this yearly Mardi Gras celebration, starting at 7 p.m. Eat King cake, po' boys and collect beads as you drink Abitas. Live music from Albert Castiglia. $8 cover charge at the door, $5 in advance (call 954-749-5627 for reservations).
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar
Paladar crosses Carnival and Mardi Gras with a double celebration. They'll be music, cocktails and beads galore from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Enjoy half-priced signature Mojitos in an assortment of flavors all night long.
Pretend that you're on Bourbon Street and drink frozen blender cocktails until you get brain freeze at this Beach Place institution. Bead throws all day and night long. Happy hour from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. with $2 domestics and $3 imports.
Mardi Gras Casino
It's Mardi Gras mania at the Magic City Casino. The party starts at 2 p.m. with strolling entertainers, live music, DJ's, and lots of beads. Watch the fireworks at 10 p.m., chow down on a cajun buffet for $15.95, and enter for a chance to win $25,000.
Celebrate Mardi Ra with HurRAcanes, southern Juleps, and spicy dinner specials like the chili shrimp roll ($8). The party starts at 7 p.m. and goes on until closing.
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