The celebration known around the world as Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, consists of exciting and colorful carnival style festivities. There is, of course, nothing on this planet like going to New Orleans and experiencing Mardi Gras first hand at its birthplace. For those of us not fortunate enough to get away, Sacramento has several alternatives. Some of these parties may be a bit on the tame side, but there is at least one on this list that promises to be extremely authentic and true to form. If you have the chance, come out and play at all three of these very different Mardi Gras style events in Sacramento. If you are out to have a good time, then a good time shall be had.
Mardi Gras Masked Ball In Old Sacramento
Graciano’s Speakeasy
1023 A Front St
Old Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 321-9480

We’ve said more than one time that Shannon McCabe  knows how to throw a party. Shannon is no doubt widely known in and around town for her annual “Vampire Balls,” but this girl is no one-trick pony. Last year’s Vampire Ball was quite a feast for the eyes, and all of Shannon’s fans and the general public should expect no less from this Mardi Gras party. Here is some detailed event information in Shannon’s own words.

The masked ball will take place inside a haunted mansion for the fun, festive and spooky atmosphere that one expects with a traditional Mardi Gras bash. While there, you can meet Voodoo King Papa Legba, the Queen Marie Laveau, and American Horror Story’s Miss Robichaux. Join the parade beginning at 9:00 p.m. and be one of the first through the doors at 9:30.

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Unmask The Cure: Mardi Gras Masquerade
Sacramento Marriott
11211 Point East Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
(916) 625-0500

Proceeds for this event go towards the efforts to cure Cystic Fibrosis. This is the fifth annual event of its kind and it will be held at the Sacramento Marriott in Rancho Cordova. This party will be a bit more on the relaxing side and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The best part here is it all benefits a worthy cause, so everyone wins. Join the over 400 guests who will be attending this year and be prepared to have fun while supporting something great. Tickets and additional information are available on the website.

Mardi Gras Bar Hop In Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento
Front St.-2nd St.
Between I St and L St
(916) 442-8575

Here’s yet another piece of diversity to top off our list this year. Old Sacramento will be the place to be on Feb. 6 as not only will Shannon McCabe’s party be on this night, so will the Old Sacramento Mardi Gras Bar Hop. This will be similar to what we all know as a pub crawl, with a few extras. On this night, the participating bars will feature live music in the form of rock ‘n’ roll and Cajun music, as well as food and drink specials. This event is all about the energy as it will take over all of Old Sacramento. Many bars will be free but, of course, some will require a cover charge. A full list of participating bars is available on the site. If you want to be surrounded by food, drink, color and costumes, then come out and join the rest of Sacramento on Feb. 6 and have a blast experiencing different bars in Old Sac.

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As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for His work can be found on