Shake those hips and grab those beads, the Bay Area welcomes Fat Tuesday with some traditional French cuisine, costumes and parades. Indulge in live music and street festivals transforming parts of our city into New Orleans’ famous Canal Street. Here are your Big Easy party destinations throughout San Francisco.

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Date: Feb 21, 2012
Time: 5 p.m.

Join San Francisco collective Jazz Mafia as they second line the Mardi Gras parade starting at Octavia & Hayes and head to Brick and Mortar. Descendant of Louisiana’s famous jazz funerals, second line include brass bands, pomp and dancing in the street. Think Satchmo’s improvisational swing. Marching bands join in this free event.

Date: Feb. 18, 2012
Time: 9:00 p.m.

The Eye Heart SF team brings its 4th Annual Mardi Gras event to Public Works after successful runs at Mezzanine and Ruby Skye. The Mission District community performance space gets the best of the Bayou transformation, so flash a smile, or whatever you got, and earn some Mardi Gras gold.

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Date: Feb 21, 2012
Time: 8 p.m. to 12 a.m

Steps away from the Fillmore Centre, better known as Mardi Gras central, Sheba’s Piano Lounge gets into the act spicing up Carnival with its distinct Ethiopian flavors. Grab beads and mask at the door of this 100-seat piano lounge as executive chef Netsanet Alemayehu prepares a special menu with imported Ethiopian spices. Live jazz wafting throughout the lounge.

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Related A taste of the south

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Date: Feb 21, 2012
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Did someone say gumbo? Town Hall is serving unlimited portions of this N’awlins dish along with other Big Easy favorites like buttermilk fried chicken, jambalaya and etouffee with abita beer and sagatiba caipirinhas to wash it all down. Paint your face, grab a feather boa and dance to the live sounds of D’Amphibians or enjoy the samba dancers as you share beads with that special someone.

Date: Feb 21, 2012
Time: 9:00 p.m.

Samba rockin with Mondo Loko and the award-winning Brazilian Carnaval dance troupe Fogo Na Roupa liven up the Elbo Room for a Carvival-themed celebration. Les bons temps roulez, let the good times roll with DJ Carloca and DJ P-Shot as they keep the beats sinfully strong.

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Robyn Chelsea-Seifert is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in The Miami Herald, Creem, Hit Parader, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel and International Musician. Her work can be found at

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