Mardi Gras

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Gayle Anderson was live in Marina del Rey because today is MARDI GRAS, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday, the final day of feasting and fun before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a Christian observance characterized by prayer and fasting, that begins 40 days before Easter. MARDI GRAS began in medieval Europe and was celebrated in Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries as well as by the French House of Bourbons. MARDI GRAS then made its way to France’s colonies in the Americas, and most famously, Louisiana, where celebrations began in the early 1700s. By the 1730s, MARDI GRAS was celebrated openly in the city of New Orleans.

According to MardiGrasNewOrleans.com, the first MARDI GRAS parade was held in New Orleans on Feb. 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. They began the tradition of presenting a parade with floats and following it with a ball for the krewe and their guests. In 1875, Governor Warmoth signed the "MARDI GRAS Act," making Fat Tuesday a legal holiday in Louisiana, which it still is. The MARDI GRAS colors—purple, green, and gold— were not associated with the celebrations until 1892, when they were selected by Rex, the King of Carnival, who also assigned meaning to them. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. MARDI GRAS has several traditions including the collection of beads and other throws, the wearing of masks and the eating of king cakes.

Don’t confuse Carnival and MARDI GRAS! Celebrated in various countries throughout the world, Carnival refers to the period of feasting and revelry that begins on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany.

You don’t have to go to New Orleans to celebrate MARDI GRAS. Uncle Darrow’s in Marina del Rey is celebrating Fat Tuesday TONIGHT from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a crawfish boil and a live performance by The Gumbo Brothers. During the last twelve years, The Gumbo Brothers have firmly rooted themselves in the musical and cultural traditions of New Orleans. Based in Los Angeles, CA, the band performs at various local venues and events. You might have cought their performance of “Keep It Raw” on the March 25, 2014 episode of NCIS, called “Crescent City,” which is the pilot for NCIS: New Orleans. For more information, click HERE.

The festivities don’t end today. Uncle Darrow’s will also host its 16th Annual MARDI GRAS West celebration from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 21st. This family-fun atmosphere includes face painting, food and live music by T-Lou & Super Hot Zydeco Band. A portion of the funds that Uncle Darrow’s raises will go to ReUnite America, to help families across America with disaster relief.

Uncle Darrow’s features Southern delicacies such as filé gumbo, fried farm-raised catfish, jambalaya, red beans and rice and po’ boy sandwiches, at down home prices. For more information, click HERE.

Other MARDI GRAS events:

Harold & Belle’s will host ‘Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez’ from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. today. “Laissez les bons temps roulez” translates to “let the good times roll,” which is what is in store for MARDI GRAS guests on Fat Tuesday. Indoor diners will be entertained with live music starting at 2:00 p.m. Outside entertainment and revelry begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for outdoor evening festivities and FREE for indoor diners. Since 1969, Harold & Belle has been dishing out Creole favorites such as Louisiana-style catfish, filé gumbo, charbroiled oysters, crawfish étoufée and classic jambalaya. For more information, call Harold & Belle’s at (323) 735-9023.

The 26th Annual Farmers Market MARDI GRAS continues tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with music by Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros on the West Patio. Authentic gumbo, jambalaya and other southern favorites including Dixie beer and beignets. For more information, click HERE.

Celebrate MARDI GRAS at Sassafras tonight from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Along with its usual cocktails and bayou flavored bites, the bar will offer its new frozen Watermelon Daiquiri with Bacardi and Chareau Aloe Liqueur, as well as Irish Coffee with Jameson Black Barrel and an Aviation Gin Singapore Sling. Patrons will also get to dance to the tunes of the “Street Gumbo Grass Band” and to the rhythm of burlesque dancers. No cover. For more information, click HERE.

This Saturday, February 21st, QueenVee Entertainment is hosting a MARDI GRAS Party Cruise for singles and couples from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Its 3-story Grand Romance Paddle Riverboat will launch out of Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach. The evening includes music by DJ Esco, dance performances, a costume contest, door prizes and two full bars. The line-up starts at 9:00 p.m. and the boat launches at 11:00 p.m. Presale tickets are $50, which includes MARDI GRAS beads, a door gift and the party. Tickets are available at the dock for $60. 21+ only. For more information, click HERE.

Tonight!
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fat Tuesday Celebration
Uncle Darrow’s
2560 South Lincoln Boulevard
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 306-4862

The Gumbo Brothers

Saturday, February 21st
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
16th Annual MARDI GRAS West
Uncle Darrow’s
2560 South Lincoln Boulevard
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 306-4862

Other MARDI GRAS events:
Today, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez
Harold & Belle’s
2920 West Jefferson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 735-9023

Tonight, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
26th Annual Farmers Market MARDI GRAS
6333 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-9211

Tonight,9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
MARDI GRAS at Sassafras
Sassafras Bar
1233 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90038
(323) 467-2800

Saturday, February 21st
10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
MARDI GRAS Party Cruise by QueenVee Entertainment
Grand Romance Cruise Line
200 Aquarium Way Dock #4
Long Beach, CA
(562) 628-1600

If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com