Sure, we’re not in New Orleans, and Mardi Gras doesn’t officially get underway until next week, but we’re never ones to ignore a party. Here are five ways to take part in the epic celebration — from early parties to extended menus — right here in South Jersey.
Greate Bay Country Club. Get the party started early with “Mardi Gras @ The Point,” sponsored by South Jersey Jazz Society, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. With a New Orleans parade and mask contest, along with music from the Atlantic City Jazz Band and the Midiri Brothers, it’s a great chance to feel like you’re smack in the middle of the French Quarter. Tickets are $40 for SJJS members; $45 for nonmembers. Located at 901 Mays Landing Road in Somers Point. Go to SouthJerseyJazz.org.(tncms-asset)395d6358-ee22-11e6-88e1-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
The Claridge. Jazz standards and cocktails are a perfect way to gear up for Mardi Gras. Bring your own beads — and a $10 cover charge — and get to the Claridge for a show with the Connie Jackson Quartet sponsored by the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23. Located at The Boardwalk & Park Place in Atlantic City. Go to Claridge.com.
Lizzie Rose Music Room. Looking for a Mardi Gras Celebration Concert and Dance Party? Don’t look any further than the Lizzie Rose Music Room. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, enjoy James Day and the Fish Fry — who specialize in New Orleans music — when they kick off the official Mardi Gras weekend. Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 day of the show. Located at 217 E. Main St. in Tuckerton. Go to LizzieRoseMusic.com.
Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar. You’ll have to wait until 9 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 28, for the Mardi Gras Celebration at Gregory’s, but their famous two-week Cajun Festival is well worth it. With a special Cajun menu that runs from Feb. 28 to March 13, plus a special bourbon-tasting dinner ($65) — in honor of Bourbon Street, maybe? — 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 3, your Mardi Gras beads can get quite the workout. Located at 900 Shore Road in Somers Point. Go to GregorysRestaurantAndBar.LetsEat.At.(tncms-asset)acb7aa60-eeff-11e6-b0ae-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Resorts Casino Hotel. Want the full Mardi Gras experience, but too cheap for plane fare? Head to Resorts for a Fat Tuesday extravaganza from noon to 8 p.m., Feb. 28. With a parade of strolling entertainers and jugglers, an hourly conga line, “Big Easy” food and drink specials and live entertainment, Resorts is the South Jersey equivalent of Canal Street. Located at 1133 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to Resorts.com.