Today is Fat Tuesday

Celebrations converge on Chinatown

Hawaii Independent Staff

From a media release:

02/21/2012 - 12th Annual Mardi Gras Carnaval Street Festival, 2012

On Fat Tuesday, February 21, 2012 from 6pm to 10pm, the Arts District Merchants Association will present “Mardi Gras - Carnaval 2012,” the twelfth annual celebration of Mardi Gras in the downtown area. This free event, billed as “An International Celebration of Indulgence,” attracts over 10,000 people to Nu’uanu Avenue each year. Authentic Mardi Gras - Carnaval culture from New Orleans, Brazil and the Caribbean will once again rule the night including ornate floats, samba parades, sinful gastronomic creations and musical performances beamed out from five outdoor stages.

First time offerings this year include: i) a new ‘Troubadour Stage’ showcasing acoustic singer-songwriter performances and ii) the ‘Human Imagination Street Soccer Tournament’ (street soccer is an urban version of the world’s most popular sport and has become a major part of life in Brazilian favelas). In addition, just when the entertainment winds down in the street, exciting performances will begin in no less than eight nebelowighborhood clubs participating in this year’s celebration.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their appetites as there will be a smorgasbord of indulgent treats on offer. Current confirmed food purveyors and dishes include - Top District Eateries: Brasserie Du Vin (Crawfish Etouffee), Murphy’s Bar & Grill (Oyster Shooters), Soul de Cuba (Cuban Gumbo & Roast Pork Sliders), Le Crepe Café (Sweet & Savory French Crepes), Not Just Desserts (Cajun Sausages), Café Joy (BBQ Chicken Skewers), Tea at 1024 (Delightful Desserts) and Additional Oahu Eateries: Dat Cajun Guy (Shrimp Po’ Boys & Cajun Jambalaya), Hank’s Haute Dogs (Spicy Andouille Sausage & Flavored Shake Fries), Soul Patrol (Seafood Jambalaya and Chicken & Sausage Gumbo), Local Stop (Malasada Burgers), Mom’s Soul Food Crabwings (Catfish and Red Beans n’ Rice) and Brazilian Crepes (crowd favorite - ‘Romeo & Juliet’ (guava & mozzarella), shrimp & cheese, peanut butter banana, coconut white chocolate and more).

From 6pm to 10pm, live music will ring out from five outdoor stages. A complete listing of show times is available at: There will also be two samba parades with live batucadas (Brazilian Percussion Ensembles) beginning near Marks Garage at 7pm and 9pm and ending with samba performances on the International Stage. The second parade will include ornate floats by: 1) Cherry Blossom Cabaret, 2) Sambaloha and 3) Giinko Marischino. From 10pm to 2am, bands, batucadas and electronic artists will take the reins at the eight clubs participating in this year’s festivities: Ong King Arts Center, Soho Mixed Media Bar, Mercury Bar, theVenue, The Arts at Marks Garage, Bar35, NextDoor and Manifest. With the purchase of one, $10 club wristband, attendees gain admittance to each of these clubs.

“Mardi Gras - Carnaval 2011” is free to all. Alcoholic beverages, including the event’s signature Hurricane and Caipirinha cocktails, will be available in the street to those 21 and over who present ID and purchase either a $3 street wristband or a $10 club wristband that will enable attendees to enjoy alcoholic beverages in the street and gain entrance to all of the above clubs. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Arts District Merchants Association, a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization focused on nurturing the vibrant cosmopolitan culture of the Honolulu Arts District.