MARDI GRAS 2017: The Return of Hillcrest’s Original Fat Tuesday

[ 0 ] February 15, 2017 |

by tim parks –

When February’s page is turned on the calendar, most people associate the second month of the year with the hearts and flowers of Valentine’s Day. However, there’s another reason to enjoy the shortest month of the year—Mardi Gras—with its offerings of boys, masks, beads and booze!

The root of Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday” in French, refers to celebrations that surround carnival events beginning on or just after the Christian Feast of the Epiphany and culminating the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Now, with the original Hillcrest Mardi Gras making its return to Urban Mo’s on Tuesday, February 28, there has never been a better time to get your Mardi Gras on and collect those beads.

For nearly 20 years, revelers have had the opportunity to take part in the annual Hillcrest celebration, most widely associated with festivities in New Orleans. Now, they will have new sights to behold and some returning treasured favorites including a street fair between First and Fourth Avenue, a nighttime dance party featuring your favorite Rich’s DJs, the new “Crown the Queen of Mardi Gras” costume contest sponsored by The Rage Monthly, special performances by Urban Mo’s Dreamgirls Revue, two fully-stocked bars and an exclusive VIP area. And, all are for a most affordable price: VIP tickets are $30 until the day of the event, after which they’re $35 and general admission at only $10 pre sale and $15 the day of Hillcrest Mardi Gras.

The Rage Monthly recently spoke with Michael Cox, the marketing and member services director for the Hillcrest Business Association, to get the low-down on all that the event has to offer. This includes some new ways to celebrate and why the original Hillcrest Fat Tuesday took a break last year. “I believe everyone was just taking time to regroup and see if it could be brought back to its one-time glory, back in the day,” Cox explained about last year’s absence.

“They really wanted to take a pause to make sure, because the year before wasn’t as successful. To regroup with all the bars who are participating and collaborating with us and make sure this one is better and bigger than the prior times. We also really wanted to increase the value for customers, to make sure it’s going to be something worthwhile for them.”

Cox detailed some exciting, new ways for participants to experience the fun at this year’s Fat Tuesday celebration: “One of the great changes happening, is that the prices are more affordable and we are also having our first ‘Queen of Mardi Gras’ costume competition.”

Continuing, “We’re having a hosted happy hour from 6 to 7 p.m. for the first 300 guests and a Mardi Gras DIY Mask Booth, for those who come early and want to create their own mask. There are VIP tickets in collaboration with Mo’s, we are having a taco stand on site and free liquor for VIPs.”

Historically, monies from the event are donated to charity. However, in the spirit of change for Hillcrest Mardi Gras, this year, according to Cox, “The earnings will be reinvested for the development and preservation of Hillcrest, through its partnership with the Hillcrest Business Association.”

Cox believes that party goers are in for a great Fat Tuesday reunion. “Attendees can look forward to a unique Mardi Gras event,” he said. “We’re trying to bring the party back to Hillcrest, to give them a Mardi Gras-esque feel: Two bars, the dance stage and the main stage, it’s going to be a big party and really festive.”

Hillcrest Mardi Gras takes place Tuesday, February 28. For tickets and more information, go to:


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