Top 7 Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras in New England

Enjoy a Taste of New Orleans in Boston, Burlington, Hartford, More!

Magic Hat Mardi Gras in New England
Alan Newman, founder of Magic Hat, © Patrick @pdbreen, Creative Commons License

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 February.) That said, if you find yourself up north as Fat Tuesday approaches (February 13 in 2018), there are plenty of places where you can feast on Cajun delights, snag some beads, sip intoxicating beverages and celebrate a memorable Mardi Gras. And New England's largest Mardi Gras event takes place a month later, so you can keep the good times rolling.

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    Magic Hat Mardi Gras in Vermont
    Magic Hat Mardi Gras Parade, © Church Street Marketplace, Creative Commons License

    March 9-11, 2018, Burlington, Vermont. Magic Hat Mardi Gras rolls into Burlington, Vermont, for the 23rd year, promising to transform the city's chilly streets into a lively scene for three fun-filled days, starting with Friday's kickoff party (typically 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 the Vermont Food Bank.

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    February 10, 2018, Faneuil Hall and Surrounding Area, Boston, Massachusetts. From noon to 9 p.m., dress New Orleans spicy and participate in a pub crawl featuring specialty drinks, food specials, prize giveaways and masks and beads for revelers. Buy tickets online in advance for $30, plus a $3.72 handling fee. About eight bars are participating.

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    February 10, 2018, 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 a Masquerade Party at Cuzzins. 802-464-4191.

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    February 10, 2018, 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 6:30 p.m. until midnight. Featured bands include Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas and the Knickerbocker All Stars. There are cash prizes for best costumes.

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    February 10, 2018, New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol, Connecticut. It's a merry-go-round of Mardi Gras fun, as the New England Carousel Museum hosts its 28th annual New Orleans-themed celebration. Tickets are $50 and include a night of music and dancing, bourbon and wine tastings in the Speakeasy, dinner, dessert, face painting, beads and doubloons. Masks and costumes are encouraged.

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    Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
    Photo by Jean Hangarter, courtesy of Revolutionary Snake Ensemble

    February 13, 2018, Regattabar at the Charles Hotel, One Bennett Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Join Revolutionary Snake Ensemble and special guests Charles Neville and Henri Smith for a Mardi Gras Party to remember this Fat Tuesday. Tickets are $22 for the 7:30 p.m. show.

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    February 13, 2018, 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. Event details have not yet been announced, but Black-eyed Sally's typically serves up an all-you-can eat southern lunch buffet, then there'll be happy hour specials and free vittles. The evening usually features N'awlins menu specials and live music plus beads, stilt walkers, face painters and more. 860-278-7427.