Mardi Gras, as I’m sure you know, means Fat Tuesday. It was a day to enjoy pleasures that would be forbidden in the season of Lent, which started the next day, Ash Wednesday. But in English-speaking Christendom, it was known as Shrove Tuesday, “shrove”meaning confession. It was a day to confess one’s sins in order to enter Lent with a pure soul. When I was a kid, Fat Tuesday meant an enormous meal with desserts. As a young adult, I enjoyed the dances and masked parties which entered the scene. This year, I’m looking for a change-up, something better than the traditional eating of griddle cakes which, in Ireland, earned the day before Lent the name Pancake Tuesday.
As I chatted about my plan with hubby Patrick, he wondered when Mardi Gras first appeared on the history scene. “Well, honey, it dates back to a Roman pagan bash in honor of the god of fertility called Lupercalia,” I answered, sounding like an expert, but really just reading Wikipedia. “Eventually it morphed into a celebration of masked parties in Venice back in the 13th century, and then onto parades and feasting in the 1800’s in New Orleans. They take it mighty seriously in Louisiana; it is an official state holiday.”
When I think New Orleans and Mardi Gras, I think music. Here in San Diego, on Saturday March 9, The Six String Society Mardi Gras Cruise will be setting sail at 5 pm for a four-hour cruise on Mission Bay including dinner and dessert and lots of music. Acts include Tighten Ups, Shay and the Hustle, Euphoria Brass Band, the Sleepwalkers, the Bayou Bros, Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas, and Gregory Page & Andy “Lowdown” Lewis. Tickets are $40 and up.
- Saturday, March 2, 2019, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Fifth Avenue, between Broadway and Harbor Drive,
$25 - $30
In the Gaslamp, on Saturday, March 2, from 1 pm - 5 pm, there will be the Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras Big Easy Bites & Booze Tour. This 21-and-up bash is a self-guided stroll through pubs and restaurants for 20 nibbles, 20 drinks and beads, followed by a Carnival afterparty with entertainment, dancing and music. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 the day of the event.
- Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
At the House of Blues, “Bring on the Beads Mardi Gras Party” will be happening on Tuesday, March 5 starting at 7 pm. Music by Madame Leroux & Krewe, plus circus and interactive entertainment. This event is open to all ages, with no cover charge.
Aboard the 90-foot Chere Amie on the San Diego Bay, the Mardi Gras Yacht Party will be cruising on March 2. Boarding at 4:25 pm, cruise from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Dance floor on two decks, full bar, complimentary glass of champagne and appetizers. Tickets are $44.95 up to $224.95, ages 21 and up.
- Sunday, March 3, 2019, noon to 5 p.m.
3052 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite C,
In North Park on Sunday, March 3, the Mardi Gras Crawl will be partying down El Cajon Boulevard to the music of The Euphoria Brass Band. The party starts at Eppig Brewery at noon, with food from Shrimp Heads and tunes by Folk Art Records. Stops along the Boulevard include Lips, Cafe Madeleine, Collins & Coupe, Medina Kitchen, Barn Brewery, Tacos Mezcla, and the event concludes with a party at the Lafayette Hotel with music and dancing. This is a free event, though tickets will be available for $2, $4, and $6 specials. The event also offers a contest for best dressed dog and “Best-Decorated Mardi -Bra;” a Mardi Gras-inspired fitness session at KOR Strength and Conditioning Gym; and some festive party crafting opportunities at Soul Flow Studio.
5th Ave Kitchen & Tap is hosting Mardi Gras 2019 Party by the San Diego Who Dats on Saturday, March 2 at 6 pm. For a $50 ticket, partygoers will enjoy a New Orleans-inspired feast, live music by Theo & the Zydeco Patrol, photo booth, one drink ticket for a Mardi Gras cocktail, and a full cash bar with drink specials.
At Rancho Bernardo Community Park, the Mardi Gras 10K and 5K trail race will take off on Sunday, March 3 at 8:00 am. Prizes offered for the top 3 best costumes, so don your best mask, costume and beads. There will also be a 1-mile Fun Run, and Kids Dash for the youngsters. 10K registration is $55, 5K is $40, 1-Mile Fun Run is $10.