1800 Wazee Street
The Dairy Block might know how to throw a party, but it's not as up to speed on religious holidays. Celebrating Fat Tuesday on Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, might help you avoid a Wednesday morning hangover, but it also stretches the deprivation of Lent from 40 days to 42. Still, the weekend festivities are worth attending: From 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, a Masquerade Bacchanal will take over the alley, with Big Easy-themed food and drinks, live entertainment and giveaways to guests decked out in their finest Carnaval gear (masks are required; bring your own or purchase one at the entrance); Sunday boasts a family-friendly Petite Parade with miniature floats circling the block and an Alley Party where circus performers, kids' crafts, brass bands and bites will bring the fun from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get details, purchase tickets for the Masquerade ($80) and register your parade float on the Dairy Block website. And if you want to keep partying through Tuesday, we won't tell a soul.
3435 South Broadway, Englewood
Revelers looking for a relaxed vibe should hit up this friendly neighborhood joint, where the staff is welcoming whether you're bellying up to the bar for the first time or the 500th. And on Mardi Gras, there are fifty more reasons to spend the evening here: Free king cake will be served, and if you find the baby, you win a $50 bar tab. Wash down your cake with $6 Sazeracs starting at 4 p.m.; indulge in Cajun food and hear live jazz from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Details are on the bar's Facebook page.
Jax Fish House
Unsurprisingly, Jax Fish House is closing out Carnaval with an extravagant Fat Tuesday menu. Starting at 4 p.m., the Glendale, LoDo and Boulder locations will be rolling out specials including gumbo, king cake beignets and crawfish in spicy broth with the traditional accoutrements of potatoes, corn and andouille sausage. Also of note is the all-night happy-hour pricing on freshly shucked oysters ($1.50 apiece) and $3 oyster shooters. Reservations aren't required, but you don't want to miss out on the limited amount of crawfish (which is being flown in live from the Pelican State), so they are recommended. Find the whole menu on the Jax Fish House website.
1201 South Pearl Street
This rowdy blues venue is a great stop for Cajun food all year long; its everyday menu includes nearly every preparation of crawfish a Coloradan can imagine, from Cajun popcorn (deep-fried crawfish tails served with remoulade) to po' boys to étoufée. And on Mardi Gras, the bar is adding the traditional boil to its already expansive Deep South offerings. Since the joint opens at 11 a.m. and stays open until 2 a.m., there's plenty of time for you to get your fill of mudbugs before taking in the show at the no-cover bar. Visit Lincoln's Facebook page for event details and its website for upcoming shows.
My Make Studio
6460 East Yale Avenue
There are a few reasons we can think of for making cookies to celebrate Mardi Gras. Perhaps you're giving up hard drugs and liquor, and sugar being a relatively benign indulgence, you'll be using your stash of sweets to ease yourself into Lent. Perhaps you plan on eating your entire batch of cookies the same night (no judgment here). Maybe you're babysitting your godchild while their parents are out collecting beads. Or perhaps you just don't want to get blitzed on a Tuesday night. All are legitimate reasons to register for the cookie-decorating class at My Make Studio, where you'll learn the ins and outs of making royal icing as well as the details of decorating Mardi Gras-themed sugar cookies. Class ($44.40 with code 15OFF) runs from 6 to 8 p.m, with beer and wine available for purchase if you want to bid farewell to Carnaval with a tipple or two. Reserve your spot on the My Make Studio website.