Not in New Orleans? Celebrate Mardi Gras in These Cities Across the U.S.

Written by: Amanda Bailey on February 17, 2015

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Even if you can’t make it to the Big Easy, plenty of cities around the country celebrate Fat Tuesday. They may not be as raucous or hedonistic as the festivities found on Bourbon Street, but they do all embrace the indulgent spirit of Mardi Gras.

Mobile, Alabama: This southern town is thought to have hosted the first official Mardi Gras parade in the country in 1830. The multi-cultural celebration continues each year in Mobile with several balls and parades hosted by secret mystic societies.

San Diego, California: The city’s Gaslamp Quarter hosts a massive street party with five stages, acrobatic performances, fire dancers and gigantic puppets.

Burlington, Vermont: Magic Hat Brewing Company throws a giant party downtown to benefit the Vermont Foodbank. The three-day event boasts live music, artist showcases, and a parade in which beads, moonpies and artisan chocolates are thrown from floats.

Minneapolis, Minnesota: Sub-zero temperatures don’t stop these Northerners from living it up. Revelers head downtown in Carnival regalia for Mardi Pub Crawl, a beer-fueled jaunt through some of the city’s most popular bars and clubs.

Dallas, Texas: Swap the andouille sausage for a bratwurst at Dallas’s German take on Fat Tuesday festivities. At Fasching Fest, a “König” and “Königin” are crowned the years’ Karnival royalty and a local deli provides plenty of activities, live-music and German fare.

Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios estimates 1.8 million are tossed in the air during it’s epic Mardi Gras parade, purported to be the largest outside of New Orleans. During the festivities, parkgoers  get a taste of authentic Cajun cuisine and zydeco music in the French Quarter Courtyard.

How are you going to celebrate Mardi Gras?