The calm before the storm: The West End Tavern is just one of many places expected to be packed with revelers — that’d be you — for Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras has a rich history, but for many CU students, it basically marks a good reason to go crazy on a Tuesday night. There’s some great live music happening around town, but what’s a celebration without some shots and down-home grub?

Dark Horse

11 a.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, 2922 Baseline Road

The Dark Horse is partying all day. Get into the spirit with party favors during the day, Bayou trike races at night and a $5.99 dish of authentic jambalaya any time in between. 

Absinthe House

7 p.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, 1109 Walnut St.

Find your own little slice of New Orleans at “Fat Two’s Day” at the Absinthe House with two-for-one drinks, Budweiser promotions and the smooth sounds of funk and old school hip hop. 

Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place

8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., 2027 13th St.

Enjoy some hot soup at Shine while taking in the tunes of Boulder-based funk quartet Hot Soup. The band has played with members of the String Cheese Incident and shared the stage with the Disco Biscuits, so the $3 cover is a total steal. 

The Goose

9 p.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, 1301 North Broadway St.

Join DjLARGECHILD for “Fat Tuesday BabeNight.” Ladies drink free until midnight. Other drink specials include $4 hurricanes, $2 PBR drafts and $3 whiskey. Plus, The Goose promises “Fat Tuesday fueled mischief.”

Walrus Saloon

9 p.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, 1911 11th St.

The Walrus is celebrating “Mardi Bras.” Any woman who brings in a bra before 11 p.m. receives a coupon for a free hurricane cocktail. As for what to do with the bra after you get the coupon, well, DJ Petey goes on a 10. 

Boulder Cafe

11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 1247 Pearl St.

Kick the day off in style with $3 hurricanes and New Orleans cuisine. Purchase a Mardi Gras special and get free beads!

West End Tavern

11 a.m. Tuesday to 12 a.m. Wednesday, 926 Pearl St.

The West End Tavern is serving up drink specials and Mardi Gras food all day. Special bonus: if you find a baby in your cupcake, you get a chance to win a VIP bourbon tasting for two. 

Reuben’s Burger Bistro

6 p.m. to 10 p.m., 1800 Broadway St. #150

Listen to the music of Justin Faye and Bobby Vigil while filling up on the $22.95 all-you-can-eat crawfish dinner at the 2nd annual event. 

Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Place

11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., 950 Pearl St.

If you’re celebrating Mardi Gras Boulder style, why not do it Brazilian Carnival style as well? Centro has $8 drink specials and $5-12 food specials all day. 

Jax Fish House

4 p.m. to 10 p.m., 928 Pearl St.

“Laissez les bon temps rouler” or “Let the good times roll” at Jax. The Fish House has $6 hurricanes and classic Louisiana cuisine including fried oyster and shaved tasso ham po’ boys and crispy frog legs.   

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