What do New Orleans and New England have in common? Well... they both start with "New" and have the same number of letters. Oh, and they both have fabulous Mardi Gras celebrations! Granted, New England can't truly hold a candle to New Orleans when it comes to Mardi Gras revelry and debauchery. (This may have something to do with the fact that it's still incredibly cold in New England in March.) That said, if you find yourself up north as Fat Tuesday approaches (March 4 in 2014), there are plenty of places where you can feast on Cajun delights, snag some beads, sip intoxicating beverages and celebrate a memorable Mardi Gras.
Media photo courtesy of Magic Hat.
February 28-March 2, 2014, Burlington, Vermont.
Magic Hat Mardi Gras rolls into Burlington, Vermont, for the 19th year, promising to transform the city's chilly streets into a lively scene for three fun-filled days, starting with Friday's kickoff party with Conspirator and Dopapod at Higher Ground
. Music, costumes, a parade, beads and beer are all integral to this New England-style Mardi Gras celebration, which is geared for all ages. Don't miss the Grand Parade down Main Street on Saturday. Proceeds from the event benefit HOPE Works
February 28-March 1, 2014, Ogunquit, Maine.
Maine's rocky coast doesn't exactly resemble the New Orleans bayou, but that doesn't stop Mainers from making merry come Mardi Gras season. Ogunquit's weekend-long celebration features a costume contest, a hat and mask making party, wine tasting, a parade, musical entertainment and more. 207-646-2939.
Media photo © Winslow Martin.
March 1, 2014, T.T. the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The annual Mardi Gras Ball is a rockin' Boston tradition, and it's back for the 21st time in 2014. Purchase tickets online for this musical revue featuring Shaun Wolf Wortis and the Legendary Vudu Krewe All-Star Mardi Gras Band and other guest artists playing New Orleans rhythm and blues. Proceeds benefit the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, which provides medical care to musicians in the Crescent City.
March 1, 2014, Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston, Rhode Island.
Buy tickets in advance or at the door for this annual Mardi Gras Ball, held from 6 p.m. until midnight. Featured bands include Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, CJ Chenier & Red Hot Louisiana Band, Leroy Thomas & Zydeco Roadrunners and Hot Tamale Brass Band. 401-783-3926.
March 1, 2014, Faneuil Hall and Surrounding Area, Boston, Massachusetts.
It's billed as the "hottest Mardi Gras Bash North of the Bayou." From 2 to 8 p.m., dress New Orleans spicy and participate in a pub crawl featuring specialty drinks, king cakes and prizes for best costume and most beads. Registration begins at 12:30, or buy tickets online in advance. Tickets $20 and include a free T-shirt (get two tickets for $20 if you purchase by January 31).
March 4, 2014, Black-eyed Sally's BBQ & Blues, 350 Asylum Street, Hartford, Connecticut.
If you're looking for a place to party all day on Fat Tuesday, then head for Hartford. Black-eyed Sally's serves up an all-you-can eat southern lunch buffet. There'll be happy hour specials and free vittles. The evening features N'awlins menu specials and the bayou sounds of River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs. Plus, there'll be beads, stilt walkers, face painters and more. 860-278-7427.
March 1, 2014, Mount Snow, 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, Vermont.
The Bud Light Mardi Gras transforms Mount Snow in southern Vermont into the Big Easy for one raucous Saturday. The event features music, beads and Apres Ski parties at all of the ski resort's bars. 802-464-4191.
March 4, 2014, Mohegan Sun Casino, 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, Connecticut.
Celebrate Fat Tuesday at Mohegan Sun
, where the Shops concourse is transformed into Bourbon Street for a five-hour party featuring music on the Mardi Gras float stage, strolling entertainers, drink specials and, of course, beads. 888-226-7711.
February 26, 2014, Infinity Hall, Route 44, Norfolk, Connecticut.
Enjoy the Louisiana sounds of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys during an evening show at northwestern Connecticut's intimate, acoustically superb Infinity Hall
February 1, 2014, Grappone Center, 70 Constitution Avenue, Concord, New Hampshire.
Let the good times roll... for a good cause. New Hampshire Catholic Charities' 9th annual Mardi Gras Gala raises emergency assistance funds for New Hampshire residents in crisis. Tickets are $100 per person for this black tie optional event. 603-669-3030.