Celebrate Mardi Gras, Vegas-style

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” referring to the practice of the last night of drinking, debauchery and eating rich, unhealthy foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.  While New Orleans might be the king when it comes to Mardi Gras, it isn’t the only city that knows how to celebrate. Plenty of Las Vegas bars and restaurants are getting in on the fun and throwing parties for the holiday on Feb. 12.

The Golden Nugget is hosting their third annual Mardi Gras-themed masquerade ball held in Gold Diggers lounge, Saturday, Feb. 9 beginning at 8 p.m.  Partygoers are invited to dance the night away and are encouraged to dress to impress while sipping specialty cocktails. Cover charge includes admission, complimentary beads, doubloons and mask ($15 per person, $25 per couple if purchased in advance). Admission is $20 per person the day of event. VIP table reservations are available.

Ranch House Kitchen at Town Square will honor Mardi Gras tradition with a Hurricane cocktail special on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Throughout the Fat Tuesday celebration, the restaurant will offer partygoers colorful beads and Hurricane cocktails priced at $5. Guests can also enjoy “Dirtbag Tuesdays” Pabst Blue Ribbon drafts priced at 50 cents from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Rockhouse inside The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino will host a “Rock You Like a Hurricane” Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 12. With plenty of beads to go around, the  bar invites Fat Tuesday partygoers to enjoy delicious Hurricane cocktails, priced at $5, all day long.

PBR Rock Bar & Grill inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will bring a taste of New Orleans to the Strip with its “Bourbon, Beads and Bulls” Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 12. In honor of the famed Bourbon Street party, the bar will offer Fat Tuesday revelers a bourbon drink, colorful beads and bull rides for $10 all day.

Seasons Buffet at the Silverton is celebrating with a Mardi Gras brunch Feb. 16 – 17 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Guests can enjoy mouth-watering cuisine, Big Easy-style.  The menu will feature all-you-can-eat snow crab legs and chilled shrimp, stuffed oysters and hush puppy crusted catfish. Enjoy Cajun spices with BBQ chicken and paella or hand-carved brown sugar glazed ham and Silverton crusted roast beef served with salads, delicious sides and more. For $5, enjoy unlimited Hurricane cocktails or bottomless champagne for $3 more.

Head over to the Rio and watch the Show in the Sky where it feels like Mardi Gras every day. Colorful floats pass by overhead as dancers and singers perform edgy choreography. At the end of the show the dancers throw beads to the spectators below. In celebration of Fat Tuesday, entertainers from various Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas shows will guest-star in a special Show in the Sky performance. Performers will include the Chippendales, the cast of Frank Marino’s “Divas Las Vegas,” Anthony Cools and Josh Strickland and cast members from “Peepshow.” The show plays every hour on the hour from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. Thursday – Saturday. If you really want to get in on the action, you can ride on one of the floats for $12.95.

The good times will roll with the Las Vegas Philharmonic presenting a night of New Orleans jazz at The Smith Center Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. Just in time for Mardi Gras, trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling will lead favorite Mardi Gras tunes such as “Down by the Riverside,” a medley of songs made famous by Mahalia Jackson, and “Bourbon Street Parade.”

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Feb. 8 at Crossroads at House of Blues Las Vegas. The bar, located at Mandalay Bay, will party with Rockstar Karaoke. Get on stage and perform with a live rock band beginning at 10 p.m. There is no cover charge. There will be food and drink specials available at House of Blues all week.

Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace welcomes Fat Joe for a live performance for Mardi Gras Feb. 12. The hip-hop star is known for his hits like “Lean Back” and “Make it Rain.”

Dick’s Last Resort at Excalibur is throwing a huge bash for Mardi Gras. The bar will be giving away Mardi Gras swag including necklaces, shot glasses, flashing gear, and of course, plenty of beads. Drink specials include discounted daiquiris in souvenir glasses. Other specials include $5 16-ounce Newcastle beers; two for $3 Malibu Red shots; and $10 Grey Goose cocktails.

In celebration of Mardi Gras, Popeyes Lousiana Kitchen and Big Chill at Castle Walk Food Court at Excalibur will serve specials from Feb. 8 – 12. With any purchase at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Mardi Gras revelers may present their receipt at Big Chill to enjoy a 50 percent discount on any 25-ounce souvenir cup of beer or frozen cocktail. The offer is valid on same-day purchases only. All of the cocktails are made with fresh fruit and include selections such as the Castle Crush, a blend of papaya, mango and rum; Strawberry Seduction made with strawberries and rum; and Blue Me a Kiss made with blueberries, lemonade and vodka. Castle Walk Food Court will be decorated with colorful Mardi Gras décor and guests may partake in festivities including balloon animals and face painting.




It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for Vegas.com, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.