Its Mardi Gras time in Southern California! I know, that statement doesn’t quite deliver, obviously any celebrations we could muster won’t compare to the shin-dig going on in New Orleans. However, there are several celebrations and events in the area that are sure to be enjoyable. I do however feel the need to insert a disclaimer here… Being new to the Long Beach area myself, I’m not completely sure how family friendly these events are. Obviously family oriented Long Beach would never ever allow events completely reminiscent of New Orleans tradition, and I’m hoping for just purple and green streamers everywhere as the most festive display I will see, but please proceed with caution nonetheless.
The first major event this weekend is the Long Beach Mardi Gras Rainbow Harbor event on Saturday. The fun begins at 12 noon and lasts well into the night. Mardi Gras festivites for the kids involving mask and bead painting, face painting, rides, and other fun stuff will last from noon until 6pm. The parade will start at 3pm, “Party Gras!” concert starts at 4pm. The amount of fun going on at this festival is unbelievable! There will be live music, dancing (ranging from zumba to bellydancers to capoeira amongst others) as well as a costume contest, and various parties at the restaurants lining Rainbow harbor. And the fun is all free! You don’t want to miss it!
Also in the spirit of Mardi Gras festivities is Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays event on Atlantic Ave happening tonight. Last month we featured the First Fridays event in our blog, and have heard nothing but glowing reviews. With the special Mardi Gras theme tonight, this event is sure to be a success. Ranging all along Atlantic Ave. in Long Beach from San Antonio Dr., to just past Bixby Rd., various festivities will be going on all evening. Many of the restaurants and shops are involved, as well as numerous street performers and artisits will be presenting their craft. Tonight they claim to have various food and drink in honor of the holiday, various art displays, free books, improv comedy, antiques, car shows, interactive art projects and soooo much more! This is an event you don’t want to miss at all!
I went ahead and made some phone calls and did some research, and it would appear that both of these events are family friendly and safe for young eyes. I don’t know if that can necessarily be said for some of the other events going on in the area this weekend, but then that makes it perfectly clear that you need to attend one or both of these events! I know I will be there for sure, and hope to see you there! Let us know how you spent your weekend! Whatever you choose, have a very fun, safe, and Mardi Gras-tastic weekend!