Combining shrimp and rice and everything nice, Mardi Gras, or Carnival is an ancient worldwide tradition of feasting and celebrating before entering a time of atonement. While it's famously known in the US as a major event in New Orleans, Asheville promises its own "Big Easy" spirit, delicious cuisine, and eccentric parties filled with beads and bling! Below, you'll find a list of upcoming celebrations and where to find Mardi Gras-themed cocktails and cuisine:
- Empire Strikes Brass: Mardi Gras Party!-Salvage Station. Friday, Feb. 10 starting at 8 PM. Come on out to Salvage Station on Friday, February 10th, to celebrate Mardi Gras with hometown homies, Empire Strikes Brass! The band will be performing LIVE on the Indoor Stage and Rahm Squad will kick the show off. Doors open at 7 PM and the music starts at 8 PM. This is a General Admission, 18+ ONLY show (no exceptions)! Root Down will be serving their delicious twist on Southern Soul food PLUS there will have a FULL bar open to enjoy!
- 16th Annual Asheville Mardi Gras Parade & Queen's Ball- South Slope. Sunday, Feb. 19 from 3:05–9:00 PM. This zany, exuberant, and irreverent event is a gift to the city to shake off those dead of winter blues. This beloved and always colorful event is designed for all ages to enjoy. All members of Asheville Mardi Gras that want to march are welcome to join in as long as you dress up, show up, and bring candy or beads to throw to parade attendees. This year's Mardi Gras event will take place in the South Slope neighborhood district. Additional information on joining a Krewe, parking directions, parade routes, and more can be found here.
- Mardi Gras Parade After Party-Banks Ave Bar. Sunday, Feb. 27 from 3-7:00 PM. Come celebrate at the Asheville Mardi Gras parade after party! There will be Mardi Gras drink specials, over-the-top costumes, food provided by Chef Mark Schmitt, dancing tunes from DJ Eric Scott, and a drag show to celebrate the "most famous promenade the whole year in the City of Asheville."
- 1st Annual Fat Sunday at Bold Rock-Sunday, Feb. 27 from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM. Laissez les bon temps rouler at Bold Rock's 1st Fat Sunday! They're going all out, so grab your Krewe and parade down to the taproom for a crawfish boil (purchase by the pound complete with corn, potatoes, and crawfish) that will have you rolling right into Mardi Gras on Tuesday. Enjoy all-day drink specials, live music, masks, beads, and delicious King Cake cupcakes. OUI, CHER!
- DSSOLVR-Saturday, Feb. 26-Sunday, Feb. 27 from 3-8:00 PM. Head downtown to DSSOLVR's taproom to experience Southern Louisiana cuisine (including gumbo and po’boys) from legendary chef and New Orleans native, Matt Grush, of Grush’s Cajun Dino Grill alongside sips from DSSOLVR. You'll also get free beads with special draft pours!
- Luella’s Bar-B-Que-Saturday, Feb. 26-Tuesday, March 1 (various times). Skip cooking dinner and stop by Luella's to enjoy a Southern spin on classic Creole fare, including smoked chicken, shrimp gumbo, fried catfish po’boys, and Chop Shop andouille sausage with red beans & rice.
- Mardi Gras & King Cake 10W-40 Release-Hi-Wire Brewing (Biltmore Village Location). Saturday, Feb. 26 from 12-3:00 PM. Come try Hi-Wire's King Cake 10W-40 Imperial Stout this weekend at their free & family-friendly Mardi Gras-themed celebration! In addition to the beer release, there will be live music by Funk'n Around, a dog costume contest, Creole-inspired food from Purple People Feeder & Foothills food trucks, and face painting & pixie hair by Mary the Fairy! They'll also have a limited supply of King Cakes, or you can pre-order one from Eaton Sweets (email at firstname.lastname@example.org) to be picked up at the event.
- Fat Tuesday at Highland Brewing-Tuesday, March 1 from 2-9:00 PM. Celebrate Fat Tuesday with beer specials, music, and more! Take advantage of the $15 liters of lager (take home liter included), and sample Creole cuisine from Appalachian Chic which will be on site serving up a shrimp po'boy special. There will also be music from 6-8:00 PM by The Legendary House Band, a collection of touring and studio musicians based out of the AVL area. They bring a unique experience to form a dynamic funk sound that has been a staple in Asheville for over 9 years!
With over 100 homes on special, you can find the perfect last-minute deal on a Mardi Gras getaway with a mountain view. Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll)!