Celebrating Mardi Gras in Raleigh is all about getting festive and having a great time! This is how the locals throw down Mardi Gras style!  No matter if you’re based in New Orleans or not, decorating the outside and inside of your home is a fun way to celebrate the occasion. Some use old beads to decorate the front porch while others decorate their houses very much like you might for Christmas, except with purple, green, and gold.

The King Cake

The famous King Cake is a delicious dessert associated with the Mardi Gras holiday. The cake itself is made from a blend of coffee cake and cinnamon roll with green, gold and purple icing to represent the famous Mardi Gras colors.  As for the origin of eating king cake during Mardi Gras, the dessert has an interesting Biblical connection. Also referred to as a three kings cake, the  name comes from the Biblical story of three kings who bring gifts to Baby Jesus. In each king cake hides a small, plastic baby, representing Baby Jesus. Whoever gets the slice with the baby is said to have luck and prosperity and, is tasked with bringing the next cake or throwing a party.

Try these local shops for King Cake and other Mardi Gras Confections!

La Farm Bakery
Great Harvest Bread Co.
Bourbon Street Beignets Food Truck
Baton Rouge Cuisine Food Truck

Celebrate at Home

If you’re fascinated by the history and cultural significance behind Mardi Gras, you may enjoy snuggling up on Fat Tuesday to a good flick  like Buckjumping or All On A Mardi Gras Day.  To really get into the Mardi Gras spirit, you can watch NOLA.com’s live parade cam to watch all of the action on New Orleans’ most iconic streets.

What to wear? Anything goes as long as it’s flashy and fun!  Purple, green and gold are the official colors of Mardi Gras, so you can dress up in a fun ensemble that incorporates these colors.  By all means, don’t forget the bling that the beads bring!  Another style option is the classic eye mask, which comes from the European masquerade tradition.  This is a fun (and stylish) choice to add to your ensemble.

Out on the Town

If you’re into fattening up your Tuesday on the town, here’s a list of local events to keep you rocking in the spirit of Mardi Gras!

Hummingbird hosts the Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler party March 3 with a crawfish boil, gumbo and king cake, featuring music from the Sidecar Social Club and DJ Nick Speaks. Ticket required.

Stanbury hosts its Fat Tuesday celebration March 5. Enjoy a crawfish boil outside (first come, first serve) or dine inside on crab au gratin, deep fried Louisiana frog legs, po’ boys, crawfish étouffée and bananas foster.  Reservations recommended for indoor dining.

Hit the streets for the Wake Forest Mardi Gras Steet Festival March 2 for a parade, music, entertainment,  and children’s activities.

 The Big Easy is hosting a Mardi Gras Happy Hour on  February 21st from 6-9 PM.   They will have live music, drink specials, and more to celebrate!

Tickets are $30 and include:
• Buffet dinner
• Soda, tea, and coffee
• New Orleans King Cake
• TU Mardi Gras swag!

Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase, including $4 Abita Purple Haze and $8 Hurricane Easys.

This is a family-friendly event. Children under 12 do not need to purchase tickets. A children’s meal will be available to purchase at the venue for $6.95, including drink.  Online ticket sales close on February 17th. Tickets will be available at the door for $40, CASH ONLY.

You can see that locals have been Celebrating Mardi Gras in Raleigh for years and it’s always a great time! If you have any questions about the Raleigh area, please feel free to contact me here.  Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more insights and updates on the Raleigh area!