If you’re a Louisiana transplant like me, this is the time of year you start longing for King Cake, crawfish and all things purple, green and gold. Even if you’re not a Cajun at heart, everyone appreciates a good party, right?
Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, is coming up on February 13th, but the season is already in full swing in Louisiana. You can actually make a short road trip to my hometown of Shreveport (about a 3.5 hour drive from the Frisco area) to experience an authentic Louisiana Mardi Gras parade. Check out the entire schedule of parades here, but a highly recommended family-friendly parade is the Krewe of Highland which rolls down the road on Sunday, February 11th at 2:00pm.
No time for a road trip? No problem – we’ve found lots of ways to celebrate right here at home!
Events In and Around Frisco
The Knights of Columbus of St. Francis of Assisi are hosting a Mardi Gras Casino Night party on Saturday, February 10th. Doors open at 6:00pm. Games, including Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em and Roulette, will be available from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Tickets start at $40 each and include entry to the event, a chip package, food and drinks. The event is held at St Francis of Assisi Parish Center, but is open to the public – not just parishioners. Childcare is available, as well!
On Fat Tuesday at The Green Gator, the celebrating will begin as soon as they open for lunch on February 13th. If you’re heading in early, you may be able to get a reservation, but as the evening rolls around, it will be first come, first served. And the line is typically wrapped around the building, so get there early!
With Mardi Gras beads dripping from the chandeliers and a DJ spinning Zydeco music, they’ve definitely nailed the atmosphere. Add to that the special Mardi Gras menu featuring dishes like Crawfish Monica (a personal favorite!), jambalaya and fried gator and drink specials on Abita beer and Hurricanes, and you’ve got the perfect mix for Mardi Gras indulgence. With flavors reminiscent of Crescent City favorites like Mr. B’s Bistro and Commander’s Palace, I can see why The Green Gator often hears the compliment “this is the closest thing we’ve found here to New Orleans!”
If you don’t make it in for Mardi Gras, stop in on the weekend for their fabulous Sunday Brunch. I can’t wait for them to bring back their Jazz Brunch in March featuring live music!
While you may think of delicious Mexican food when you hear Lava Cantina, they actually bill themselves as “Creole food with a Mexican twist” – so it’s no surprise that they would be celebrating Mardi Gras too! Join them for the Graceland Ninjaz Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday, February 10th at 8:00pm. The show is free, but VIP seats are available if you want a guaranteed seat and server.
It’s that time of year again! Come enjoy the Mardi Gras without the drive and traffic of Bourbon Street. On February 13, from 11am-10pm, enjoy Cajun-inspired food and drinks, Boiled Crawfish & shrimp (Ask for it all-in), $1 hushpuppies, $3 Hurricanes, and beads you don’t have to do anything for. Come check us out!
Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Louisiana just down the road in Plano. Razzoo’s is taking an extended approach to Mardi Gras celebrations with great food and drink specials every day from February 5th-February 13th. Specials will include mouth-watering small plates such as Boudin Balls and Rat Tails for only $5 and frozen Hurry-canes, Mardi Ritas and Abita Amber Draft for $3.50. Food and drink to surely get you in the spirit!
From February 9th–February 13th, City Works Restaurant at The Star in Frisco will be celebrating Mardi Gras with a New Orleans-inspired special menu featuring Alligator Gumbo, Shrimp Po’boy, Shrimp n Grits, and their own take on the classic King Cake. Find the baby in your King Cake and you could even win a $250 gift card!
What could be more fun than a parade? A pooch parade! The 16th annual Krewe of Barkus Parade takes place in historic downtown McKinney, beginning at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 11th. In previous years, the parade of more than 250 pups has delighted more than 4500 spectators. The festivities include the parade, along with family-friendly activities, vendor booths and dog adoptions facilitated by local animal rescue groups.
How About a Party at Your Place?
Maybe you prefer to host your celebration a little closer to home. We’ve got you covered with ideas to pull off a fantastic fais-d0-do at your place!
If you can get into the kitchen and whip up some meat pies and jambalaya, more power to you! But if Cajun cooking is not your specialty, there are plenty of opportunities for outsourcing. The Green Gator, Razzoo’s, Lava Cantina and VooDoo BBQ & Grill all have some delicious catering options. I’ve also recently discovered a little gem in Carrollton that comes very highly recommended for Cajun cooking – No Worries Catering. Their Cochon de Lait themed menu makes for quite the spread!
Of course, purple, green and gold are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. And you can make your event very festive with beads galore and extravagant masks. But to really make your event memorable, you can bring in the help of a professional – who also happens to be a Louisiana native.
Heidi Rougeau started her business in Louisiana five years ago and now calls Frisco home. La Fête Events and Décor provides quality custom designed home & party decor as well as event styling for all holidays. Turn to Heidi to dress up your door with a festive wreath, or have her style your entire event! Mardi Gras is one of La Fête’s most popular holidays and Heidi hopes to bring more festivities to the area with each year.
The King Cake
We could do an entire article on the history and traditions behind the King Cake (and the plastic baby hidden inside!) but for now, just trust me when I tell you that this is the traditional dessert of Mardi Gras and no Fat Tuesday celebration would be complete without it…or at least some reincarnation of it!
The hardcore Cajuns will tell you to order your King Cake from a Louisiana bakery and have it shipped to you. Randazzos in Metairie, LA is a go-to for many Louisiana transplants.
However, I’ve found some local bakers determined to bring the authentic taste of the King Cake to our area. Specialty Donuts in Savannah makes King Cakes year round and just requires a few days advance notice for an order. And Dandelion Cheesecakes in Carrollton actually offers a cheesecake stuffed King Cake.
For something a little different, try Rock N’ Pops seasonal King Cake Popsicle. Enjoy one at their Stonebriar location, or they can bundle them up for you to serve at your party.
And for another twist on the classic dessert, check out these delightful Mardi Gras inspired macarons from Tres Bon Macaron. The Mardi Gras Macarons feature purple (cinnamon cream cheese), yellow (fresh lemon), and green (white chocolate) and are sold for $20 for 12, $10 for 6, $5 for 3. What a treat!
However you choose to celebrate, Laissez les bon temps rouler! (In case your French is a little rusty, that’s ‘Let the good times roll!’)