Mardi Gras is a time of celebration and although New Orleans is the epicenter of the nation's biggest parades and celebrations, the Metro Detroit area has a wide array of events and parties going on as well. Fat Tuesday is on February 21, 2012 this year and that is when the biggest and best events are taking place. Share in the festivities at these Detroit hot spots.
Price: No cover
Hours: Daily 6:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.
This Cajun/creole restaurant brings the taste of New Orleans cooking to the Detroit area. Its authentic feel and food makes it the number one destination to celebrate Mardi Gras. The establishment celebrates all year long, but throws one of the area's biggest parties on Fat Tuesday. Live music plays all night and there is a wide selection of food available. An array of colorful masks and costumes are rivaled only by those on display in the Big Easy. Prizes for best costumes are given out throughout the evening and there are plenty of beads available for everyone along with some great drink specials.
Hours: Mon to Thurs - 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Fri - 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Sat - 12 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Sun - 4 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Howe's Bayou in Ferndale also brings Cajun cuisine to Detroit. In addition, the establishment serves steaks, seafood and sandwiches. The restaurant celebrates Mardi Gras in a big way with week long events that include live music and food and drink specials. It's all day Fat Tuesday party features a number of prizes and bead giveaways throughout the evening. Keep an eye out for the prize in the King Cakes.
Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m.- 2 a.m.; Sun - 12 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Gator Jakes' massive menu makes sure that everyone who comes out to party will be able to find something that they like. The bar is the only one in the area that is originally from New Orleans and they make sure that they provide a party that stays true to those in the Big Easy. This restaurant/sports bar has plenty of music with live entertainment, a jukebox and dance floor. Sports fans can get their fix while they celebrate with televisions in every booth. On Fat Tuesday, there are great drink specials, plenty of plastic beads and a free buffet.
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Price: Cover charge varies
Hours: Thurs to Sun - 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Tonic Nightclub in Pontiac is a Detroit club staple and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. It has been dubbed "Metro Detroit's Biggest Dance Party" and their annual Mardi Gras party is always a fun one. It's an evening filled with drinks, great music and drink specials, including $1 beer bottles all night. They invite attendees to come out and dance the night away and try to "earn" some beads throughout the evening.
Hamtramck's Paczki Day
Hamtramck, MI 48212
Hours: All Day Fat Tuesday
The city of Hamtramck comes out in full force to celebrate Fat Tuesday every year with its annual "Paczki Day" celebrations. Attendees line up around the block at the various bakeries within the city to get the delectable treats before hitting up many of the area's bars and restaurants to celebrate. The city's local establishments put together parties and many of them provide live music acts including many outdoor Polish acts. Various bar crawls are going on as well. Authentic Polish food, giveaways, drink specials and evening shuttle services are all available. There is also a annual Paczki Day parade.
Tracy Heck is a freelance writer living in Dearborn, Michigan. She covers Music & Entertainment. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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