Beads, marching bands, colorful costumes, oh my! Bring your kids to Mardi Gras. Yes, seriously! Or at least to the Portland Family Friendly Mardi Gras Day Parade! Mardi Gras Day, also known as Fat Tuesday, falls on February 13 this year. It’s the last day of the New Orleans Carnival season and it’s a perfect time to celebrate life! Read on for fabulous Mardi Gras Family Friendly ways to dance, dine, and parade!

Photo: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau via Flickr

Masks, Music, Parades!

For the biggest and best Mardi Gras event in town head to Mississippi Ave for the Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Day Parade! This free family friendly community event invites the whole crew to dress up and dance in the streets! It is hosted and organized by the city’s own Mysti Krewe of Nimbus who will be passing out hand decorated signature mini umbrellas. Think 9 blocks of masks, live music, dancing, parades, and family fun! This is an after dark event so come prepared in your warmest costume attire. The Costume Contest will be judged by the current Mardi Gras King and Queen who will be crowned at the Ball on February 10th! Here are ALL the details!

5:30 p.m.: Parade line up at Victoria Bar – 4835 N Albina Ave.
5:30 p.m.: Kids costume contest – begin gathering at Luke’s Frame Shop 4703 N Albina Ave.
6 p.m.: Costume contest begins
7 p.m.: Parade starts from Victoria Bar, will stop at Luke’s Frame Shop to gather the costume contest folks
7:45 p.m.: Parade ends at Cook St / Mississippi Ave near Ecliptic Brewing.

*Many venues along the parade route will have food and drink specials on February 13th.


Photo: lalawren via Flickr

Nola Flair

This is the perfect time to have fun getting the whole family dressed up in all of your flashiest and most outrageous outfits! If you don’t think you can pull together a costume don’t worry! We’ve got you covered!

Belfry Mask & Costume Shop
The Belfry Mask & Costume Shop is available to shop by appointment only. Call ahead and then browse through shop proprietor Jane Clugston’s wide array of cunningly crafted masks and quirky costumes!

3153 SE Belmont

Photo: DaPuglet Pugs via flickr

Gumbo Gifts and Gallery
Located in the Mississippi neighborhood, Gumbo Gifts and Gallery will offer you a treasure trove of Mardi Gras wear! They have masks, funky hats, novelty glasses, feather headpieces, gloves, and more.

3900 N Mississippi Ave

Hollywood Vintage
Hollywood Vintage has costumes for rent or sale. Peruse through their huge selection of hats, jewelry, and vintage menswear.

Ne 28th and Sandy Blvd


Photo: Lynford Morton via Flickr

Mardi Gras Grub

Miss Delta
For a night of family fun and Louisiana style grub head on down to Miss Delta! Miss Delta will have a live local jazz duo playing all night, scrumptious King cakes from Portland baker, NOLA doughnuts and a bunch of fun food specials.

3950 N Mississippi Ave
(503) 287-7629

Mississippi Pizza Pub
Delicious all year round and extra special on parade day!  This is a go-to spot for families in the Mississippi neighborhood who want to grab a slice and people watch from the inside!

3552 N Mississippi Ave.

Tapalaya Restaurant
The carnival spirit is always alive at Tapalaya, one of Portland’s favorite Cajun/Creole eateries. On Mardi Gras you can expect large crowds and live music from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Call ahead and make reservations!

28 NE 28th Ave.

Delta Café
Craving southern comfort food? Delta Café is your spot. They’ll have Fat Tuesday specials all day long, starting with beignets at brunch, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Delta has a super yummy kids menu with creamy mac and cheese, delicious ribs, and chicken fingers.

4607 SE Woodstock Blvd.

How do you celebrate Mardi Gras with les petites? Tell us in the comments below.

— Elissa Cirignotta