This February, Farmers Market is livening things up with the 28th Annual Farmers Market Mardi Gras celebration.
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.
This year, festivities kick off on Saturday, Feb. 25 with our annual Mutti Gras parade, which is celebrating its 10th year anniversary. Starting at noon, and led by the Bear Brass band, costumed pups, and maybe even a cat, rabbit or turtle, will parade past the crowd, to assemble on the Plaza stage. Wags and Walks, a popular rescue group will also be joining in on the fun with a couple of their dogs participating in the parade - and you can adopt a loving pooch after! 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 Bear Brass Band perform throughout the Market until 3 pm, leading guests into a day filled with great music. Other performances include performers as Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers (2-4 p.m. on the West Patio) and The Zydeco Mudbugs (2:30-4:30 p.m. on The Plaza).
For dinner, grab your favorite Louisiana grub and catch the rollicking sounds of The California Feet Warmers, from 5-7 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, Feb. 26, the day begins with the Mubug Brass Band strolling throughout the Market from noon to 3 p.m. Then get ready for a New Orleans-style jam with Grammy Award winning performers, Lisa Haley & The Zydecats on the West Patio from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The Gumbo Pot will be serving their tasty beignets from a special stand located on the Plaza all day on Saturday!
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. Our celebration is a family affair, so no flashing is necessary to earn your beads, but do plan to come early, as our supplies are limited.
28th Annual Farmers Market Mardi Gras
Saturday, Feb. 25
12-1 p.m.: Mutti Gras Parade, The Plaza
12-3 p.m.: Bear Brass Band, strolling
1:30-4:30 p.m.: Shakers for Peace & Joy w/ Kids for Peace, Plaza
2-4 p.m.: Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers, West Patio
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.: The Zydeco Mudbugs, Plaza
5-7 p.m.: California Feetwarmers, West Patio
Sunday, Feb. 26
12-3 p.m.: The Mudbug Brass Band, Strolling
2:30-5:30 p.m.: Lisa Haley & The Zydecats, West Patio
Return on Feb. 28, 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, Feb. 28
6-9 p.m.: Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Bros.