New Orleans is great, wonderful in fact, but if you can’t travel all the way to Bourbon Street don’t fret, celebrate Mardi Gras in style right here in Dallas. Don’t let costs, logistics, or your busy schedule stop you from enjoying king cake, masks, and colorful beads this weekend.

Parades, Beignets, Mardi Craw Party, Mardi Gras March, Authentic Cajun Food, Krewe of Barkus Dog Parade, Mardi Gras Music Texas Style

1. Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade 

Make your way over to the Bishop Arts District Sunday, March 3rd for the annual Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade! The fun begins at 4 p.m. and is followed by live brass music. Throw on your Mardi colors or a crazy costume, and “laissez les bon temps rouler.” 

2. Beignets

If you really want to feel like you’re in NOLA, beignets are a must. Toulouse Cafe’s warm beignets and cozy atmosphere will make you believe that you’re sitting in the middle of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Order up a plate or two or three before you head down for tomorrow’s iconic parade! After all, this holiday is about indulgence! 

3. Mardi Craw Party @ The Rustic  

Last call! Run to The Rustic on Fat Tuesday for one last festivity before giving up your favorite vice for Lent. The Rustic’s Mardi Gras Party and Crawfish Boil will be Tuesday, March 5th starting at 5 p.m. Embrace everything about New Orleans without ever leaving Dallas: a style crawfish boil, chicken jambalaya, a face painting station, live music, and more! RSVP for this free event or pay just $40 for VIP access to a private lounge and Cajun buffet. 

Even if your friends made the trek to Louisiana for Mardi Gras this weekend, you can still have your own Mardi Party in Dallas. As they say, let the good times roll! 

4. Mardi Gras March

Want to join a 30-piece brass band on a jazzy jaunt through Deep Ellum inspired by New Orleans’ second lines? This annual Fat Tuesday party hosted by Cajun restaurant the Free Man features trombone, tuba and trumpet players taking to the streets of the Dallas neighborhood known for live music and artsy culture. It all starts at 5:30p March 5 at the Free Man. After the procession, return to the Free Man Cajun Cafe and Lounge to dine on étouffée, jambalaya and boudin balls, and enjoy a lively concert featuring the Free Loaders, the Big Ass Brass Band and Stefanie Pepping and the Sassafras Swing Set.

Mardi

5. Authentic Cajun Food

Dodie’s Cajun Diner at The Harbor will begin Mardi Gras festivities on March 1 and plans to keep the party going with food and drink specials until the festivities top off with the Fat Tuesday Party on March 5. There will be a Crawfish Boil from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 3. On Fat Tuesday, eventgoers can enjoy drink specials from 6-7 p.m and live music from Live 90. 

Cajun specials throughout the week include – Fried Alligator, Crawfish by the Pound, Cream Filled Kings Cake, Monster Bread Pudding, Hurricanes and Margaritas all day Saturday and Sunday, Mimosas and Bellinis through 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

6. Krewe of Barkus Dog Parade

In McKinney, the party will include many four-legged fur balls. The Krewe of Barkus Dog Parade and Festival is a family favorite every year, with hundreds of dogs that come dressed in costume for the occasion. This year’s theme “The Bark-A-Palzooa Tour Around the World,” so dog costumes will be celebrating different countries and cultures. That event happens Sunday, as well.

7. Mardi Gras Music Texas Style

If you want to take in some tunes, Mardi Gras Texas Style is an all-day festival happening at Fair Park on Saturday. Twenty country musicians from around the state, including Cody Johnson and Koe Wetzel, will hit the stage beginning at 2 p.m. There will also be food and beads. Tickets start at $36.50.