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A Bit of NOLA Across the USA: Mardi Gras Events in 4 Major Cities

This blog post was updated on September 5, 2018.

Nothing quite compares to the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. The folks in the Big Easy have had hundreds of years of practice to reach that status.

From the beads and the floats to the French-inspired downtown streets — the magic of New Orleans Mardi Gras has set the bar high for what would be considered a proper Fat Tuesday party.

It has also inspired many of the major cities across the country to have a little Mardi Gras celebration of their own.  Boarding flights to Chicago, Portland, Denver, Orlando soon? Be sure to look out for some of these local Mardi Gras events.

Portland: The Pacific Northwest city of Portland hosts an annual Mardi Gras Ball.  This year the big party takes place on Saturday February 18th at the Bossanova Ballroom and includes several events, such as live music, a costume contest, and tradition New Orleans style food.  There is a cash bar, and tickets are just $25.


Denver: Denver Mardi Gras is going down on the evening of February 18th at Dave and Busters. Described as “Bourbon Street comes to Denver,” the night’s events will include live music, performers, dance floors, games and — not to be forgotten — beads!  The Denver Marriot Tech Center is also hosting Mardi Gras Colorado 2012 on February 17th.


Orlando: Travelers to Orlando can experience the thrill of Mardis Gras at Universal Studios.  The celebrations will take place on Saturdays and select nights from February 11th to April 14th.  Included in the festivities are a parade, French Quarter Food and Music and even a lively after party.


Chicago: When Mardi Gras time rolls around, fun and festive events occur in several sections of the city.  Logan Square Auditorium will be holding a Brazilian Mardi Gras show on February 18th.  The Rush and Division neighborhood of Chicago also puts together an annual Mardi Gras event.  Details are still in the works, but the date is set for February 21, 2012.


As stated already, nothing quite beats the real Mardi Gras atmosphere in New Orleans.  If you’re feeling adventurous, why not start looking for some cheap flights to New Orleans?  The list of things to do in the Big Easy are endless. Check out historic city bars, explore the rich jazz tradition, or  well as top restaurants.  Don’t worry if you can’t make it there in time for the big party; NOLA has a festival itinerary to bring fun to your travels for months to come.

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