Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Yes, the good times start rolling Friday night, Feb. 21, continuing through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 25, as Chattanoogans have their choice of eight local theme parties to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras is also called Fat Tuesday because it's the last day to indulge in rich food and drinks during carnival season before Lent starts the following day, Feb. 26. Lent concludes April 9.

Reservations/advance ticket purchases are needed if you and your krewe want to strut your stuff at one of the following Mardi Gras parties.


Mardi Gras Gala

* Where: Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St.

* When: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21

* Admission: $80 individuals, $150 couples

* For more information:

Start your evening in New Orleans style with Cajun-inspired food, cocktails and Dixieland jazz played by the Ralph Miller Quartet.

Later that night, Mardi Gras King and Queen Alnoor and Gina Dhanani will lead guests in a parade through the hall before revelers dance to a DJ. This fundraiser benefits the Chambliss Center for Children.


Margaritas and Mardi Gras

* Where: White Lightning Harley-Davidson, 7720 Lee Highway

* When: noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

* Admission: Free

* For more information:

Enjoy free margaritas and a NOLA-style lunch (while supplies last) to celebrate Mardi Gras and National Margarita Day in one party. There will be a king cake, lots of beads and bikes. And remember, never drink and ride.


Mardi Gras 20/20

* Where: The Westin, 801 Pine St.

* When: 7 p.m. Saturday Feb. 22

* Admission: $45-$78.50

* For more information:

The Mystikal Krewe of Indulgences is hosting its 25th Mardi Gras celebration, and this silver anniversary will be a black-tie-optional gala.

In addition to a Cajun buffet, there will be an open beer and wine bar, liquor cash bar, party favors and dancing to a live Dixieland band. The party will be highlighted with the crowning of a king and queen.

Proceeds from this gala will support Downside Up Inc.


Mardi Gras on Station Street

* Where: 24 Station St.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

* Admission: $10 in advance, $20 day of event

* For more information:

Dancing in the streets to live music? Beads, feathers and masks? Stilt walkers and acrobats? Sounds like New Orleans' Bourbon Street, but it's actually what's planned for Saturday night in the Southside on Station Street.

Regan's Place and Westbound Bar are hosting this Mardi party with J Gumbo's on-site selling Cajun and Creole food, and free beads or masks to the first 100 guests through the gates. Deacon Bluz & The Holy Smoke Band will perform on Station Street from 9 to 11 p.m.


Mardi Gras Brunch

* Where: Walden Club, 633 Chestnut St.

* When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23

* Admission: $60 per person, reservations required by Thursday, Feb. 20

* For more information: 423-305-7141

If there is anything Purple Lady Sonia Young loves as much as the color purple, it's animals.

This is the fifth Mardi Gras brunch she has hosted to benefit McKamey Animal Center. This brunch is known for its delicious New Orleans-inspired dishes, prepared this year by chef Jeff Walker.

The menu will include such delights as chicken and andouille gumbo, Commander's Palace salad with creamy black pepper dressing, Eggs Sardou, pecan-crusted Gulf fish over red beans and rice, New Orleans-style crab cakes with Creole remoulade, maple bourbon pain perdue, shrimp and grits, Ponchatoula strawberry shortcake and Bananas Foster flambe.


Mardi Gras at the Choo Choo

* Where: Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St.

* When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25

* Admission: Free; beer and food purchases additional

* For more information:

Just like you can't visit Pat O'Brien's Bar in New Orleans without drinking its signature Hurricane, you can't leave Gate 11 Distillery on Tuesday night without sampling its version of the rum concoction.

Businesses Gate 11, American Draft and Ukko are partnering to host a Fat Tuesday celebration of food and drink in the Southside landmark. American Draft will serve Abita beers, Ukko is dishing up crawfish boil (while supplies last, so arrive early) and Gate 11 will have Sazeracs and Blue Bayou drinks in addition to Hurricanes.


Creole Pop-Up and Mardi Gras

* Where: Wanderlinger Brewing Co., 1208 King St.

* When: 5-11:30 Tuesday, Feb. 25

* Admission: Free; food sold

* For more information: 423-269-7979

Celebrate Fat Tuesday by dressing in your best Mardi party clothes to enjoy gumbo, etouffee and beignets sold by Freewill Flowers & Food beginning at 5 p.m. All food options will be served a la carte or as a platter over rice with a side of sourdough bread.

A best-dressed contest will be held with a gift-card prize. There will also be a king cake, and whoever finds the baby wins a $25 gift card.

Gino Fanelli and the Jalopy Brothers will entertain guests starting at 8 o'clock.


Mardi Gras Ball

* Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29

* Admission: $65 per person

* For more information:

This night of revelry is one of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women's signature fundraisers to support the local chapter's scholarship awards to high school seniors and other community philanthropic projects.

Guests will dance to Nu Breed Band and enjoy a buffet dinner.

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.


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