In the same vein as Dyngus Day and perhaps the night before Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras hands Buffalonians a chance to go out on the town on a weeknight to hear live music, wander between bars or even people-watch in busy neighborhoods.
While the Chippewa Alliance's Mardi Gras Bar Crawl was featured in This Week in Buffalo, several options are worth considering for March 5.
Mardi Gras Party at Mohawk Place, 7 to 11:30 p.m. at 47 E. Mohawk St. Cost is $15 for the buffet and the live music, or $5 admittance after the food runs out.
Pine Fever, Irving Klaws and the Buffalo Brass Machine will all play sets at Mohawk's annual Mardi Gras festivities, complemented by a New Orleans-inspired buffet featuring crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. The show made Mac McGuire's "3 can't-miss shows" post, here.
[Photos: Smiles at Mohawk Place's Mardi Gras in 2018]
Mardi Gras Masquerade Party in 12 Gates' taproom, 4 to 10 p.m. at 80 Earhart Drive, East Amherst. No cover charge.
Creativity and flair are encouraged as the East Amherst brewery rewards the best masquerade mask with $25 and will hand out beads throughout the night. All of 12 Gates' beers will be $4 per pint, while gumbo and shrimp po' boys will be specials on the food menu. Read more about 12 Gates' beers in Jill Maxick's feature.
Santora's Mardi Gras Party, 7 to 10 p.m. at 7800 Transit Road, East Amherst. No cover charge.
Other than the bar crawl on Chippewa, Santora's party is the only other outdoor event. The Transit Road location will have a heated tent set up on its patio, leaving room for the Tim Britt Band to add additional warmth. Miller High Life splits are $2, while Genesee, Genny Cream Ale and Pabst Blue Ribbon cans all run for $2.50. Mixed drinks include Kool-Aid Coolers for $4 and Mardi Gras Martinis for $5.
DBGB's Fattest Tuesday in Town, 5 p.m. at 253 Allen St. No cover charge.
Lee Ron Zydeco and the Hot Tamales are back in town to serenade celebrants at Duke's, along with the usual three party DJs Kyle Carson, Drop D and Charles Masters.
The buffet menu includes rare offerings like okra, fried green tomatoes and jalapeno cornbread alongside pulled pork sliders and gumbo. Bacardi Hurricanes will run for $10, while shots of Cazadores Tequila cost $4.
Roaming Bison Tavern's Fat Tuesday, 4 to 7 p.m. at 732 Hertel Ave. No cover, with food specials.
Young Hertel bar Roaming Bison earns the award for "Most Inappropriate Facebook Event Photo," but also presents a massive crawfish boil (that's a lot of crawfish, not one giant crustacean), for $35 between 5 and 7 p.m., as well as shrimp po' boys for $9 and gumbo and jambalaya for $8 apiece. Drink specials include $6 Hurricanes — perhaps the most affordable of the options for the fruity, rum-heavy cocktail.
Given its status as a whiskey bar, Roaming Bison will offer select whiskeys for $7, with $1 shots of moonshine (not for the faint of heart).
[Read more: Roaming Bison brings bourbon, barbecue to other end of Hertel]
Mardi Gras celebration at the Sterling, 7 to 10 p.m. at 1487 Hertel Ave. Admission is $5.
Allen Street buskers/street musicians 12/8 Path Band — a 12-musician act that plays diverse styles ranging from New Orleans to Cuba, Brazil and Africa — will deliver a rousing set at the Sterling. Sterling's regular patrons aren't strangers to loud, danceable nights — karaoke night on Thursdays is often mobbed — so don't expect a tame night.
[Related: After staff makeover and other improvements, the Sterling is catching up on Hertel]
Buffalo Brass Machine at Thin Man Brewery, 7 to 10 p.m. at 492 Elmwood Ave. Free to attend.
It's quite the busy Mardi Gras for Buffalo Brass Machine, whose various horns reflect the street entertainment that captivates the streets of New Orleans. Often an eight-piece band — with a rotating cast, however — BBM will first play Thin Man for three hours before buzzing over to Mohawk Place for another set, beginning at 11. They'd better work on their embouchure before Mardi Gras.
The Brass Machine gig at Thin Man doubles as a meetup for members of the Big Easy, a group that helps bring New Orleans music acts to Buffalo.
The Irishman's Fat Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. at 5601 Main St., Williamsville. Free to attend.
Beads. Lots and lots of beads. The Irishman in Williamsville welcomes DJ Rick to orchestrate a dance party, with $6 Bacardi Hurricanes available, too. Cajun food specials are also on the docket.
[Related: The Irishman's East Aurora location opens to the public]