Laissez les bons temps rouler, Brooklyn!
Carnival season is upon us, and a parade of New Orleans-style Mardi Gras parties and events is rolling out across the borough. There may still be snow on the ground, but for the next five days, the Big Apple will masquerade as the Big Easy, with bars hosting Cajun and brass bands, pouring bayou brews and cocktails, and serving up gumbo and king cake.
Hailing from the Hudson Valley, Krewe de la Rue plays highly danceable Cajun music and may be the only band in New York State that boasts its own triangle player. The six-piece is kicking off Mardi Gras with a “Fais do-do” (that is a Cajun dance party) at Red Hook’s Jalopy Theatre.
Jalopy Theatre [315 Columbia St. between Hamilton Avenue and Woodhull Street in Red Hook, (718) 395–3214, www.jalopy.biz]. Feb. 28 at 8 pm. $10.
Williamsburg’s favorite Saints bar, DBA, is going all out for Mardi Gras, throwing two parties on March 1 and 4. Both will have hurricane cocktails and Abita brews, red beans and rice and gumbo to eat, and a DJ spinning Crescent City favorites. The Saturday bash will also have a costume competition, while the Fat Tuesday event will have an authentic New Orleans king cake.
DBA [113 N. Seventh St. between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 218–6006, www.dba-brooklyn.com]. March 1 at 8 pm and March 4 at 7 pm. Free.
If you cannot be at New Orleans’ Mardi Gras in person, at least you can in spirit, when event organizer Brownstone Living throws a party to honor the Endymion Krewe’s parade night at a grand mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant. There will be a shrimp boil and an open bar from 10–11 pm, plus a soundtrack mixing house, Afro-beat, and hip-hop.
375 Stuyvesant Avenue (375 Stuyvesant Ave. near Decatur Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant). March 1 at 10 pm. $15 advance, $20 at door. Tickets at Eventbrite.
Art collective and event producer Thunder Gumbo throws its massive all-night “Mardi Gods & Party Monsters Ball” at Williamsburg’s the Paper Box. In addition to two rooms (and a backyard) with live bands, DJs, dancers, and performance art, the night promises parades every hour, bead giveaways, and gumbo.
The Paper Box [17 Meadow St. between Waterbury and Bogart streets in Williamsburg, (718) 383–3815, www.paperboxnyc.com]. March 1 at 9 pm–5 am. $15 before 11 pm, presale, or in costume. $20 at the door in street clothes, $10 at the door for groups of six or more in matching costumes. Tickets at Ticketfly.
It is not a parade, but this bar crawl through Crown Heights is probably the closest you will come. Sponsored by Louisiana’s Abita beer, the tour kicks off at NoBar — owned by New Orleans-born actor Anthony Mackie — then winds its way through the Nostrand Pub, Catfish, the Crown Inn, and Franklin Park. There will also be cash prizes up for grabs through the day.
NoBar [608 Nostrand Ave. between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street in Crown Heights, (718) 493–1560, www.facebo
Two Boots Brooklyn may have closed, but its former owners are still throwing their annual Mardi Gras party. Now taking place at South Slope’s Fifth Avenue Party Hall, the event will a buffet of food, such as seafood gumbo, jambalaya, alligator, and crawfish boulettes, plus bartenders mixing up Creole lemonades, hurricanes, and Sazeracs. Live music will be provided by Jellyroll Fats & the Zulu Kings, playing swampy funk, soul, and New Orleans classics.
Fifth Avenue Party Hall [693 Fifth Ave. near 21st Street in South Slope, (917) 553–1950]. March 4 at 7 pm. $25. Tickets at Eventbrite.
Swing into the celebrations with the Way Station’s annual Mardi Gras party, featuring live music from swing band the Buhre Station Stomp Society. There will also be Abita beer and Sazerac drink specials and beads.
The Way Station [683 Washington Ave. between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights, (347) 627–4949, www.waysta
On Fat Tuesday, a krewe of local musicians will join forces to form the Brooklyn Bowl’s All Star Brass Band — including members of Medeski Martin & Wood, the Shady Horns, Lettuce, and the Outer Borough Brass Band.
Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and N. 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963–3369, www.brookl