The traditional “Fat Tuesday” celebration, a major blowout held in advance of Ash Wednesday and Lent—a 40-day period of contemplation and abstinence—is feted in grand style around the world.
In the United States, the most famous Mardi Gras celebration takes place in New Orleans, where revelers parade throughout the city. Interestingly, although the city’s parade dates back to 1837, it is not the oldest such celebration in the country. In fact, Mobile, Alabama has the distinction of hosting the nation’s first-ever Mardi Gras parade in 1831, although public celebrations in that city date back to the early 1700s.
Angelenos, however, need to travel no farther than Third & Fairfax to enjoy a down-home Cajun-style celebration, complete with lively music, great eats and colorful beads - rain or shine!
This year, festivities kick off on Saturday, March 2 with our annual Mutti Gras parade, which is celebrating its 11th year anniversary. Starting at noon, and led by the Mudbug Brass Band, costumed pups, and maybe even a cat, rabbit or turtle, will parade past the crowd, to assemble on the Plaza stage. The audience determines just who will win King and Queen of Mutti Gras and the lucky winners will take home prizes from The Dog Bakery.
Following the parade, the Mudbug Brass Band perform on the Plaza until 3 pm, leading guests into a day filled with great music. The High Life Cajun Band will liven up the East Patio from 1-3 p.m. and Floyd and The Flyboys will kick off music on the West Patio with a performance from 2-4 p.m.
For dinner, grab your favorite Louisiana grub and catch the rollicking sounds of Grammy Award winning Lisa Haley and the Zydecats, from 6-8 p.m. on the West Patio.
Look for Cajun favorites such as Po Boys, Jambalaya and perfectly spiced boiled crawfish at The Gumbo Pot. If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Gater Gumbo—The Gumbo Pot is one of the few places in Los Angeles where you can try this tasty reptile, which is said to taste just like chicken.
On Sunday, March 3, the day begins with the High Life Cajun Band in the East Patio from 11:30am-1:30pm and the Bear Brass Band strolling throughout the Market from noon to 3 p.m. Then get ready for a New Orleans-style jam with Bonne Musique Zydeco on the West Patio from 2 to 4 p.m. and Crawdaddio on the Plaza from 3-5 p.m. End the night with Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers from 5-7 p.m. in the West Patio.
The Gumbo Pot will be serving their tasty beignets from a special stand located on the Plaza all day on Sunday and be sure stop by E.B.'s Beer & Wine on the West Patio or their pop-up bar on the East Patio for Abita Beer!
And in case you’re wondering, we’ll be tossing beads from the Farmers Market Office balcony (above Magee’s Kitchen) hourly all afternoon on Saturday and Sunday.
30th Annual Farmers Market Mardi Gras
Saturday, March 2
12-1 p.m.: Mutti Gras Parade, The Plaza
12-1 p.m.: Mudbug Brass Band, Strolling
1-3 p.m.: High Life Cajun Band, East Patio
1:30-3 p.m.: Mudbug Brass Band
1:30-4:30 p.m.: King & Queen Crown Decorating, Plaza
2-4 p.m.: Floyd and The Flyboys, West Patio
6-8 p.m.: Lisa Haley and The Zydecats, West Patio
Sunday, March 3
11:30-1:30 p.m: High Life Cajun Band, East Patio
12-3 p.m.: Bear Brass Band, Strolling
1:30-4:30 p.m.: Shakers for Peace and Joy Craft, Plaza
2-4 p.m.: Bonne Musique Zydeco, West Patio
3-5 p.m.: Crawdaddio, Plaza
5-7 p.m.: Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers, West Patio
Return on March 5, for our Fat Tuesday evening party, starring Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros. Be sure to arrive early, the Market’s West Patio will fill up long before the band starts playing at 6pm.
Tuesday, March 5
6-9 p.m.: Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros.