On “Fat Tuesday,” February 24, Nuuanu Avenue transforms into a whirl of percussion, samba and smiles. Parades with floats, samba dancers and Brazilian percussion groups will march thru the crowds on this historic street at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. as the Honolulu Culture & Arts District presents â€œMardi Gras â€“ Carnaval 2009.â€ The event, now in its ninth year, showcases authentic Carnaval culture with food, music and dance from New Orleans, Brazil, Cuba and beyond (donâ€™t miss Du Vinâ€™s King Cake, or Murphyâ€™s Alligator Chili).
Three stages will be set up along Nuuanu Ave.: Pauahi St. outside ARTS at Marks, at Hotel St. outside Louis Pohl Gallery, and near King St. outside Tea@1024. Headline entertainers include rising star Dj Sabo from New York (Brazilian Beats) and hardline Nâ€™Awlins funk from Delta Skelta with DeShannon Higa and David Choy making a righteous horn section.
There will be a craft fair along Hotel Street, with tattoos, jewelry, gourmet bread and beads galore. Nearly all the art galleries stay open too, and you donâ€™t want to miss free malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery (courtesy Target).
The event is free, and runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and beyond. There will be several after parties to choose from at Indigo, Epic, Next Door, and the drinks will flow all night at Oâ€™Tooles, Murphys and JJ Dolans. Thereâ€™s even a pre-party option: Du Vin hosts the Alliance Francaise dinner and wine tasting early that evening. Sign up at www.afhawaii.org.
And donâ€™t forget to dress up! Costume contestants join the float parade at 9 p.m., then strut the King Street stage for great prizes. Wear a mask, too, and who knows what you might find yourself doing. After all, youâ€™re heading for 40 days of temperance. Donâ€™t you deserve a fling?
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