Long Beach Mardi Gras is now more Venetian Carnevale than N'awlins Mardi Gras. The highlight of the event is a showcase of costumes characters in traditional Venice style, who will start posing for the cameras at 10 am in front of the Aquarium of the Pacific. Live music starts at 11:30 am with Gypsies and Judges. Bring cash to have your own mask and hair done in front of the Aquarium starting at noon. More live music and street performers join the costumed characters at Aquarium Plaza at 1 pm; the Mardi Gras parade sets off at at 3. Festivities continue all afternoon with more official photo sessions with masked characters from 3:30 to sunset. Family festivities will stretch around Rainbow Harbor from Shoreline Village to the Pike and the Aquarium of the Pacific.
When: March 1, 2014, 10 am - 7 pm, Parade 3 pm
Where: Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach
Parking: Paid parking at Shoreline Village, the Aquarium, the Pike or Convention Center, or metered street parking.
Metro: Blue Line to First Street Station
Info: longbeachcarnevale.com , www.lbmardigras.com
Mardi Gras at LA Farmers Market
The Los Angeles Farmers Market will hold a two-day celebration March 1-2 and another Fat Tuesday blow out on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. The weekend will include New Orleans and Zydeco music, strolling parade bands, activities for kids, bead-throwing, a Mutti Gras Pet Parade and Costume Contest, as well as New Orleans and Southern specialty foods and Dixie Beer on tap.
When: March 1-2, & March 4, 2014
Where: LA Farmers Market, 6333 W.3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90036
Parking: 2 hours free at Farmers Market with validation from Farmers Market businesses, $4/hour thereafter. I hour free at the Grove next door, 2 hours with Grove merchant validation.
If you can't make it to Rio de Janeiro for Carnaval, you can still celebrate in the Brazilian tradition at the annual Brazilian Nites Brazilian Carnaval Exotica. This year the event is at Club Nokia at L.A. Live, and the theme is World Cup 2014. Samba bands and sequin-clad dancers will embody the festival spirit. Dance floor tables sell out, so act soon if you hope to get a ticket.
When: Saturday, March 1, 2014, 8 pm - 2 am, show starts at 9
Where: Club Nokia at L.A. Live, 800 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Cost: $45 Advance General Admission, $67.50 Table Seat. At the door, add $10 to all seats if available
Info: (818) 566-1111, www.BrazilianNites.com
Bonus: Check www.goldstar.com for half price tickets.
Top Photo © 2011 Kayte Deioma, used with permission, bottom photo courtesy of BrazilianNites.com