Photo depicting the Filthy FemCorps, wearing green and black attire, performing in front of a warehouse.

Mardi Gras in the South End

by Victor Simoes

Seattle may be miles away from New Orleans, but at least for the month of February, Seattleites can beat the winter freeze with the extravagance and excess of Mardi Gras celebrations. From jazz concerts to brass band blowouts and Cajun/Creole cuisine options, the Emerald has compiled a list of events and places to celebrate the traditions of this holiday, full of music, dancing, and lavish food, that will bring New Orleans a little closer to the South End this Fat Tuesday.

Mardi Gras Events 

Mardi Gras Brass Band Blowout! — A Fundraiser for HONK! Fest West

Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
Jules Maes Saloon, 5919 Airport Way S.

This one-day fundraiser for HONK! Fest West (an annual free three-day music festival) will be full of funky beats and brassy blasts in a traditional Mardi Gras brass band blowout style. The highlights in the event lineup feature Filthy FemCorps, a local women and nonbinary brass band; Tacoma’s community street band, Tacomarama; and TMB Brass, a Seattle-based New Orleans party brass band. 

Tickets are available on the event’s webpage.

South Hudson Music Project Presents: Mardi Gras 

Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S.

South Hudson Music Project, a nonprofit organization created to support the artistic and community activities of The Royal Room, will be responsible for bringing the best of jazz to Columbia City in celebration of Mardi Gras. Featuring an all-Seattle-based cast of musicians, The Royal Room brings the sound of New Orleans to Seattle this Fat Tuesday.

The event will have donation-based admissions.

2023 Mardi Gras Party Featuring TUBALUBA and Unsinkable Heavies

Feb. 21, 8 p.m.
Nectar Lounge, L412 N. 36th St.

Combining the staple musical improvisations of jazz and soul with the rhythms and sounds of funk, R&B, and rock ’n’ roll, TUBALUBA and Unsinkable Heavies will join forces to transport the Nectar Lounge to a world of big solos, improvisations, and hypnotizing sounds.

To purchase advance tickets, visit the event’s official website.

Mardi Gras Food in the South End 

Island Soul Restaurant

4369 Rainier Ave. S.

Island Soul is a family-run Caribbean-inspired restaurant that traditionally offers a special Mardi Gras menu. From Feb. 20–21, Island Soul’s menu will feature Cajun and Creole cuisine, like king cakes and jambalaya.

Jude’s Old Town

This ​​worker-owned restaurant in Rainier Beach offers a variety of Cajun-inspired dishes year-round. Menu favorites include the Cajun tofu sandwich, dirty rice, Jude’s burger, and gumbo. 

For more details on reservations and the menu, visit the restaurant’s website.

Victor Simoes is an international student at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in journalism and photo/media. Originally from Florianópolis, Brazil, they enjoy radical organizing, hyper pop, and their beloved cats. Their writing focuses on community, arts, and culture. You can find them on Instagram or Twitter at @victorhaysser.

📸 Featured Image: Filthy FemCorps, a women and nonbinary brass band, performing at 2022 HONK! Fest West. (Photo: EspressoBuzz Photography)

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