Mardis Gras Street Festival to flood Chinatown with song, samba, and style

Jamie Winpenny

HONOLULU—Downtown Honolulu lights up with latin heat this week. Brought to you by the same folks responsible for the Hallowballoo festival, the annual Mardis Gras Street Festival kicks off in Chinatown on Tuesday, March 8. A pre-party begins the festivities at The Venue on Bethel Street at 4:00 p.m., with samba dancers, free beads, and Brazilian dance rhythms provided by DJ Zilla.

Making their Hawaii debut at the festival will be New York City’s Nation Beat, a critically acclaimed dynamic musical group that fuses Brazilian maracatu drumming, New Orleans second-line rhythm, bluegrass, funk, rock, and country blues.

Multiple stages will feature local groups like Family Dinner, John Cannizzaro and Delta Skelta, and Taltosh Collective featuring jazz saxophonist Chris Yeh.

All eyes will be on the samba parade, with floats by Cherry Blossom Cabaret, Sambaloha, and Brazilian Showroom. A costume contest will also see the winner collect $500, with second place receiving a neighbor island round trip from Go! Mokulele.

A $10 ticket will allow attendees free admission into nine Chinatown clubs, including NextDoor, Indigo, Bar 35, and Thirtynine Hotel.

Over a dozen eateries will be on hand to provide food for hungry partiers, including Murphy’s Bar & Grill, Brasserie Du Vin, Soul De Cuba, and Otto Cakes.

The street festival begins at 6:00 p.m. on Nuuanu Avenue in Chinatown.

Nation Beat will be stopping by other Hawaii venues throughout the week:

Wednesday, March 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Gordon Biersch
Aloha Tower Marketplace

Thursday, March 10 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The Venue
1144 Bethel Street
$8 advance, $12 door
Ages 21+
For tickets, click here.

Friday, March 11 from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Charley’s Maui
142 Hana Highway in Paia, Maui
$15 advance, $20 door
For tickets, click here