Although it seems like Jan. 1 was yesterday, and my resolution for a dry January dried up on Jan. 5, I decided to let the chips fall where they may and embrace the 2020 festivities all year long. Sounds like a hedonistic way to start the decade off, right? I have decided, however, to forgo one holiday this year: Valentine’s Day. Instead, I will focus all my pent-up energy into what really matters in February. Not love, but Mardi Gras!
I have been to The Big Easy before, but unfortunately never during Mardi Gras season. My Februaries have been spent in good ol’ Nebraska, where I have passed the time by figuring out where the best Mardi Gras parties are. Omaha does share some love with our fellow Louisianans. This year, Fat Tuesday is Feb. 25, which gives you a whole month to check out my picks and find the best spots for your krewe!
Dubbed Mardi Gras on Beer Corner USA, this has been one of my favorite places to enjoy Fat Tuesday for the past couple of years. The party that never stops giving, Crescent Moon is packing a whole lot of specials, which include Cruzan Rum Hurricanes on tap in all three bars, Southern Voodoo cocktails and Pint Night, featuring Abita Brewing Company’s Mardi Gras Bock, which starts at 4 p.m. Adding to the atmosphere, Mardi Gras partyers can expect free beads, my personal favorite and a staple of any Mardi Gras celebration, and festivities that kick off at 7 p.m. and run to midnight. A DJ and live music will entertain at this Krewe de Vie Fest.
Upstream Brewing Company
Although more of a restaurant than a bar, Upstream Brewing Company in the Old Market deserves a second look for your Fat Tuesday festivities. Besides having a magician and face painting for all, food and drink specials will be featured all day long starting with $7 Hurricanes. Live music will start at 3 p.m. and run through 9 p.m.
Sporting a new location in Dundee, Acadian Grille dubs itself as Omaha’s authentic Cajun experience. Besides the Cajun menu, Acadian Grille’s Tuesday special will stay the same, offering half-price wines and Hurricane specials in the good spirit of Mardi Gras. Acadian Grille still has plenty of craft cocktails and local brews to try in a funky yet vibrant atmosphere. They will also have a traditional live crawfish boil, a house band in the evening at the Dundee location and beads and feathers galore. Expect expanded hours at both the Dundee and Miracle Hills locations.
Shucks Fish House and Oyster Bar
Shucks has long been known for serving up some of the best seafood in Omaha. They also have many Cajun-inspired dishes and drinks. Boasting three locations in Omaha, Shucks brings the Mardi Gras party to all three restaurants on Fat Tuesday. With raffles throughout the day, Shucks will offer customers a chance to win gift cards, T-shirts and beads. Shucks is known to serve some great Bloody Mary’s with the perfect amount of spice, tasty margaritas and their signature Wild Watermelon punch. Disclaimer: two per customer.
Bottoms up: If you have the chance to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I highly suggest you jump on that opportunity; but if you’ll be in Omaha for the biggest party in February, check out these places because Mardi Gras only comes once a year.
Remember to have fun, drink responsibly and tip your bartenders. Tweet us bar suggestions and follow The Buzz at thereader.com. Your bar suggestions could be featured in The Buzz.