Top Bars To Celebrate Mardi Gras In Connecticut

February 7, 2013 8:00 AM

(credit: thinkstock)

(credit: thinkstock)

These feasts are accompanied by festive, celebratory practices including the donning of colorful masks and costumes, dancing, sports competitions, pageants and parades. It is de rigueur to flout traditional social conventions bordering on the decadent and scandalous. A no-holds-barred letting down of hair, before assuming the sober mantle of self-restraint and self-sacrifice for a month, involving confession and being shriven of one’s sins.

Stemming from French colonial history, the earliest celebrations were observed in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Each has put its own unique stamp on this tradition. The iconic New Orleans extravaganza is renowned the world over and attracts huge crowds.

Other cities across the country also observe their own version of Mardi Gras. Connecticut participates with gusto. Certain popular locations invite the Nutmeg State residents to emulate their southern peers by indulging in Cajun delights, draping themselves with shiny beads, imbibing intoxicating beverages and making their own Mardi Gras memories.

Black-Eyed Sally’s
350 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 278-7427

Black-Eyed Sally’s award-winning barbecue and Cajun cuisine is offered in an authentic Southern jazz-club setting and is available all year, to the accompaniment of live blues and jazz music. The mouth-watering delicacies include ribs, pulled pork, jambalaya and blackened catfish. No meal is complete without Sally’s pecan pie. Sally’s takes pride in “feeding your mouth and your soul!” You can party all day on Fat Tuesday with its all-you-can-eat southern lunch buffet. Happy hour specials and “free vittles” are also available. The evening menu features “N’awlins” specials and the bayou cadences of southern jazz combos. Beads strewn about, costumed stilt walkers, face painting and more all contribute to the enjoyment and bring New Orleans to Hartford.

Related2012 Sounded Good: The Top Breakout Music Acts In Connecticut

Up Or On The Rocks
50 Union Place
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 247-6257

Up Or On The Rocks, voted the top Dance Club of Hartford, celebrates Mardi Gras annually. Merry-makers go wild during an evening featuring magicians, fire breathers and stilt-walkers, with brightly colored beads flying through the air. The club’s multiple banquet rooms and patio are thrown open to music, dance and entertainment. Up Or On The Rocks has even been known to continue the celebrations over to the next day.

Two Boots of Bridgeport
281 Fairfield Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 331-1377

Two Boots of Bridgeport, which turns five years old on February 5, will be celebrating Mardi Gras all day on Tuesday, February 12. This annual extravaganza has become a must-attend event, and once again for the third straight year features LIVE entertainment by Shaka and the Soulshakers, followed by more sounds of New Orleans funk and soul. Lunch, dinner and late into the night food and drink specials include half-price jambalaya and hurricanes. A Mardi Gras parade and costume contest are on the program and beads will be flowing. There is no cover charge for either event.

Related: Top Bars And Nightclubs With Retro Nights In Connecticut

BlackRock Rocks
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 400-9509

Date: Feb. 9 from 12 p.m. to 2 am

Mardi Gras celebrations organized by this collaboration of local artists, musicians, local venues and their supporters, bring New Orleans to Bridgeport. It is an annual “party with a purpose,”  a fundraising event for charities and non-profits. This year, the beneficiary is K.E.Y.S – Kids Empowered by Your Support. The fun continues from the afternoon to late at night on February 9, featuring 27 bands. The event will include New Orleans-inspired dishes and drink specials, a face-painter and a French Quarter Photo Booth. Raffle prizes include Gathering of the Vibes Weekend Camping Tickets, Catskill Chill Weekend Camping Tickets and massage and dining gift certificates.

The carnival atmosphere resonates in simultaneous merry-making at locations such as:

Acoustic Café
2926 Fairfield Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 335-3655 

Tautog Tavern 
2926 Fairfield Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 916-7500

Fire Engine Pizza Company 
2914 Fairfield Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 333-3473

Bina Joseph, a resident of Glastonbury, CT is a freelance writer covering all things travel-related in Connecticut. A passionate veteran of the travel industry, Bina has visited more than 40 countries, giving her a unique, global perspective. Her work can be found at

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