Celebrate Fat Tuesday with these grandiose parties filled with booze and beads.
French Quarter House Carnival of Mardi Gras - Saturday, Feb. 18
Head to the House of Blues for a spirited celebration with food and drink specials, live music, circus entertainment and more. The Bayou Brothers Zydeco Band, Lola Demure's Burlesque and Variety Troup, Circus Mafia and DJ LV headline this massive party.
$12-$30. 7 p.m. doors. 8 p.m. show. House of Blues San Diego, 1055 Fifth Ave., downtown. houseofblues.com
25th Annual San Diego Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras - Saturday, Feb. 25
Before you completely lose your beads at this year's Mardi Gras parties, celebrate South American-style. Grab your feathers, stretch your glutes and get ready for some serious booty-shakin' all night at the 25th annual San Diego Brazil Carnival. The fun will unleash with Samba beats, Samba dancers, electrifying Capoeira performances and high-energy, nonstop Brazilian music. For more sensory-overload, an exciting Batucada-style parade will storm the dance floor.
$25-$39 general admission. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 21 and up. Park 6, 590 Fir St., Little Italy. brazilcarnival.com
Big Easy Bites & Booze Tour - Saturday, Feb. 25
Experience a different side of the Fat Tuesday magic at this new tasting stroll, inviting hungry guests through downtown's hotspots to indulge in some southern comfort food and drink. The self guided tour includes 20 small plates and 20 festive cocktail sips with beads at every stop. Any guest who collects 10 bead necklaces will get access to the after party.
$25. 1 to 5 p.m. Gaslamp Quarter. sdmardigras.com
San Diego Mardi Gras Masquerade Parade & Celebration- Tuesday, Feb. 28
This massive block party is one of the most popular Mardi Gras celebrations in the city, a 23-year old tradition that features top talent and endless colorful beads. An expected 20,000 revelers will rage alongside three stages throughout multiple blocks of downtown, taking over all of Fifth Ave. The parade portion of the evening will also include floats, stilt walkers, tricked out cars, performers and sexy samba dancers.
$35+ general admission; $90+ VIP (includes seven free drinks, VIP entry and lounge access). 5 p.m. to midnight. 21 and up. Gaslamp Quarter. sdmardigras.com
Hillcrest Fat Tuesday - Tuesday, Feb. 28
Over in Uptown, the Hillcrest Fat Tuesday celebration returns to its original location on University Ave. between First and Fourth Ave. Attendees can get down with a nighttime dance party, performances by Urban MO's Dreamgirls Revue, a costume competition, two bars, a DIY Mardi Gras mask booth and exclusive VIP area with private bar.
$10-$15 general admission. 6 to 11 p.m. 21 and up. University Ave. between First and Fourth Ave. fabuloushillcrest.com