Mardi Gras isn’t just for New Orleans anymore, and a Brazilian-themed Carnaval celebration can happen anywhere in the world…even Florida! Many different establishments and venues will be throwing unforgettable Fat Tuesday/Carnaval celebrations from the Pinellas coast all the way down to the Keys. Put on a party mask and cheer for some beads, or dress skimpy, scope out the eye candy and do the samba! Here are some fun party picks from Hotspots for Mardi Gras and Carnaval.


Discotekka (950 NE 2nd Ave.) in downtown Miami will be letting the good times roll on Saturday, March 1 with a theme party of “Carnival.” Wear your party masks (and little else) and dance to the pulsating beats from Brazilian DJ Just Oliver and after-hours DJ Carlos G. Event organized by and Danny Villar Productions.

A place called Mardi Gras Casino (Pembroke Road and US 1, Hallandale Beach) can’t be expected to just ignore Fat Tuesday. You’ll be happy to know that they rise to the occasion andmardi_1 make a big five-day weekend out of it! Starting on Friday, February 28, brass bands and New Orleans jazz take center stage in the casino and in the French Quarter. Nine different acts will be entertaining on Tuesday itself. Enjoy the Fat Tuesday Cajun Buffet for dinner on Tuesday for $14.95, and see a fireworks show at 10 p.m.

Score (1437 Washington Avenue) will be celebrating both Mardi Gras and Carnival with three parties. The first is Filthy Gorgeous Fridays on Friday, February 28, which presents “Mardi Gras” featuring costumed dancers, beads, percussionists and masks, and is hosted by The Pennyback Boys with music and videos by DJ Willy Gee. The next night, Saturday, March 1, Bigger Saturdays at Score presents “Rio Carnival” featuring the music of DJ Rodolfo Bravat with hot go-go and samba dancers on stage. Plus DJ Troy Landon will be in the Score Lounge from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. On Tuesday, March 4, Planeta Macho presents “Carnival In Rio” featuring a tribute to Carmen Miranda by Adora and Teresita “La Caliente” and Marco along with his hot male dancers. Music by DJ George Ferrero.

Sometimes people just want to celebrate with some great liquor. You’ll find what you need, complete with a festive atmosphere, at the aptly-titled Fat Tuesday. World-renowned for their daiquiris, there will be special events going on during Mardi Gras at all three South Florida locations. Stop in for a drink whether you’re in Fort Lauderdale (17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.), Miami Beach (918 Ocean Dr.), and Key West (305 Duval St.).

The Manor (2345 Wilton Drive) will be celebrating Carnaval with an all-out theme party on Saturday, March 8. In the Ballroom, DJ Monty Q will be taking over the turntables with fierce Carnaval-type productions. In the Ivy Lounge and Patio, Noche Latina Saturdays goes Brazilian for Carnaval. DJ Nena will be playing all the usual Latin songs infused with an extra flair from Brazil. Viva Mirage is your hostess along with special guests. 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. with no cover.


Want a true-to-life Mardi Gras parade, with floats and beads? The City of Dunedin delivers. Over the past 23 years, tens of thousands of people have flocked to Dunedin each year to have lots of Fat Tuesday fun. The nighttime parade starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin) and heads north to Skinner Blvd. A vendor fair will take place on Main Street between Louden Avenue and Broadway.

Universal Studios Orlando (6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando) doesn’t disappoint with expressing their Mardi Gras spirit; in fact, you don’t even have to be present on Fat Tuesday to be a part of the action! Universal’s Mardi Gras Grand Celebration season started back on the 8th of this month and goes on until the end of May! Buzzworthy singers are here for your entertainment; those coming up in March include Collective Soul (Mar. 1), A Great Big World (Mar. 21), Gavin Degraw (Mar. 22) and Kelly Rowland (Mar. 28). After the park is closed, party with everyone at CityWalk. The best part about this celebration is that you can repeat it the next day or the next week if you want, no waiting until next year!

mardi_4The Parliament House (410 N. Orange Blossom Trl., Orlando) holds off on their celebrations until the weekend after Mardi Gras (Saturday, March 8) to be exact, but they pull out the stops with a parade spectacular, complete with floats, a marching band, stilt walkers, body painting, and lots of beads! What will YOU do to get some beads?