Mardi Gras 2020: Where to Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler in LA

Second line at The LB Bayou Fest 2015 (Photo by Elise Thompson)

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, in the Catholic tradition is your last chance to enjoy all of the foods that are forbidden during the four-week ritual fasting of Lent. It is also your last chance to really kick up your heels. Here are the best spots around Los Angeles to let the good times roll!

Long Beach Mardi Gras in Shoreline Village

Long Beach is a city known for its festivals, and Mardi Gras is no exception. Boasting what is probably the only truly New Orleans-style Second Line parade in LA, The festival will be taking over Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor tomorrow, Saturday, February 15, 2020, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The free parade will start at 2:30 p.m. in Rainbow Harbor at the Nautilus Shell, continuing on to Shoreline Village. Thousands of revelers gather at this festival every year for live music, Stilt Walkers, Hula Hoopers, Tarot Card Readers, and bead throws. The Big Butter Jazz Band and Sugar Daddies and DJ Delvik will be bringing the music. Dress up, dance, and wave your handkerchief in the air!

You can pay to park in the Aquarium of the Pacific Parking/Queensway Bay Garage, 99 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802 or the Pike Parking Garage, 65 South Cedar Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802.

Mardi Gras Celebration at The Farmers Market

Saturday, February 22nd, Sunday, February 23rd, and Fat Tuesday, February 25th, 6-9pm

The Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax will be holding their 31st Annual Mardi Gras Celebration this year. Besides live music, bead throwing, beignets, Dixie beer, and face painting, they have the most fun Second Line parades anywhere. The Dog Bakery will once again host its annual “Mutti Gras Pet Parade and Costume Contest” furry four-legged friends. I assume they mean dogs, because I don’t recommend trying to get a feathered mask on a cat for so many reasons. The Farmers Market is home to The Gumbo Pot, a fantastic Cajun/Creole kitchen. I recommend the Blackened catfish Sandwich, Red Beans and Rice and the Fried Chicken Salad.

The Ragin Cajun Mardi Gras Parking Lot Concert

Saturday, February 22, and Sunday, February 23, 2020 12 Noon to 5 p.m.

One of our favorite hometown spots, Ragin Cajun Café on PCH in Redondo beach will be clearing out their parking lot and setting up a stage for this free two-day concert. Louisiana Jazz Funk band Alligator Beach and Lynette Shebyrd will be rocking the stage on Saturday along with Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute Band, Born On The Bayou. On Sunday get ready to dance to Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse and Arnie Vilches & Friends as well as ZZ Top cover band Fandango. In addition to the usual menu, Rajin Cajun will be preparing a crawfish boil. Get there early at 11:30 a.m. Saturday for the Crawfish Eating Contest!

As always, they will have my favorite beer, the hard-to-find Abita Amber on tap and famous New Orleans cocktails Hurricanes and Hand Grenades. If you don’t go for the boil, I recommend the Fried Catfish Bites, Shrimp Po’Boy, Bayou Bisque, and Pork Chops and Gravy.

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba

Fat Tuesday ay Amoeba

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Amoeba Records in Hollywood celebrates Mardi Gras in style with a local parade with their very own float! You can bring your own horns and percussion instruments to join in. There will also be masks, beads, DJs and a special gift certificate promo. Amoeba will once again donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to Tipitina’s Foundation and the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, so buy a Professor Longhair CD and get in the spirit!


Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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