Originally published February 23, 2017. Updated February 6, 2018.

For all you guilt-laden Catholics and non-guilt laden other Christians out there, it’s almost time to give up chocolate or alcohol or (the Pope’s favorite) “indifference towards others” for 40 days during Lent. But lucky for us, French-God bestowed upon the world the loophole that is “shove everything bad for you in your face in one day”: Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday.

Milwaukee may not be historically known for its French population (though 26% of us are Catholic), but we’ll be damned if we don’t celebrate excess with the best of them. Here’s just a few big Mardi Gras festivities around town for you to indulge in next week, Tuesday February 13th.

Maxie’s (Bluemound Heights)
For 10 years the city’s preeminent Cajun restaurant has been throwing a 2-day feast, with $4 Abita beers, $5 Hurricanes, and “a special NOLA menu”. This year’ll feature the Extra Crispy Brass Band and an outdoor heated party tent to boot.

The Brass Alley (Westown)
Another rare Milwaukee Cajun restaurant and bar, The Brass Alley (and upstairs’ Evolution MKE ping pong bar) will be throwing both a Saturday and Tuesday version of the party. Not many other places are offering Stilt Walkers + Dancers + Jugglers + Fire Eater + DJ Pancake, and a giveaway trip for 2 to Abita Brewing in New Orleans.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino (Menomonee Valley)
Only Potto can one-up them, as they’ll have 4 whole days of festivities. Potawatomi ends Fat Tuesday with marching bands, showgirls, a parade, stilt walkers, jugglers, tarot card readers, and non-stop live music. Plus spin the Mardi Gras wheel to win double payouts.

Mardi Gras 2017 at Maxie’s. All photos by Joe Powell for The Squeaky Curd.

The Brass Tap (Greenfield)
Need even MORE fatness? Pair 4 Abita beers with 4 mini beignets at The Brass Tap.

Leff’s Lucky Town (Wauwatosa)
“Time to Party Gras”. In the past they’ve had $5.00 Southern Comfort Hurricanes, $5.00 Swamp Juice (extra swampy), and a Fat Tuesday “Wheel of Prizes”. Guaranteed King Cake and live music from local Ska band Something To Do.

Limanski’s Pub (West Allis)
Ain’t many places in town that’ll be offering a “traditional cajun crawfish boil”, but Limanski’s Pub in the Dirrrty Stallis ain’t many places. $2 hurricanes and sazeracs drown it down, with evening karaoke to boot.

Crawdaddy’s MKE (West Allis)
One of Milwaukee’s classic (rebooted) Cajun restaurants, Crawdaddy’s will be slinging their authentic New Orleans nosh on a day everyone is a little French.

Mardi Gras 2013 revelers.

The Landing on Layton (St Francis)
Venture down towards the airport to The Landing on Layton and watch planes take off to Louisiana’s Mardi Gras celebration while you enjoy $10 all you can eat food with $6 hurricane drinks.

The Jazz Estate (Murray Hill)
Is there better jazz than that from the Big Easy? Nah. Come hear the true sounds of the south, paired with crafty cocktails, at The Jazz Estate.

The Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon (Brookfield)
Maybe they’ll swap bacon for andouille sausage. Regardless, expect cheap drinks and loud horns with The Hot & Dirty Brass Band filling the airspace.

This Is It (East Town)
Milwaukee’s oldest gay bar knows how to party, and their Mardi Gras Masquerade hides all inhibitions.

The 4th Quarter (Harambee)
If you don’t have your own mask, The 4th Quarter has got you covered with a free one and more beads than you can shake your chest at.


And don’t forget to repent on Ash Wednesday for your pączki gluttony at one of Milwaukee’s fine Catholic masses.

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