MANCHESTER, NH — Feb. 17 is Fat Tuesday (that’s translation of the French term Mardi Gras, for those who have always wondered and/or are non-French speakers.) It’s also the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, for those who are in the religious habit of counting down to Easter Sunday by giving something up.
You can go deeper into the history of Fat Tuesday, and all its pagan/Christian/European entanglements with this International Business Times story.
For our purposes, it’s enough to know that there are two Fat Tuesday celebrations happening here in Manchester on Feb. 17.
1. The Franco-American Centre’s Mardi Gras Célébration at Milly’s Tavern on February 17 from 6-10:30 p.m. Live music from Joe Deleault and the Reel Tuckermans will begin at 7:30 p.m. Buy a Mardi Gras bracelet in support of the Centre to be entered for prizes, raffles and more, including special pricing on Milly’s personal draft beers! Half-off appetizers and drinks from 6-7 p.m.
If you are in the mood for some traditional Fat Tuesday fare, like jambalaya and beignets, then you can head over to N’Awlins on Elm Street. However, for those who feel the need to earn your indulgences, you can opt for the 3-mile Fat Tuesday 5K first, to feel the burn. This annual run is organized by Millennium Running (Road closures on Elm Street will begin at 6 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. on Canal Street, according to Manchester Police):
Start/Finish Location: Located on Elm St. in front of N’Awlins Grille
Directions: 860 Elm St, N’Awlins Grille, Manchester, NH.
Race Day Parking: Manchester City Parking
Course: View interactive course map HERE.
Post Race: Enjoy post race drink and Mardi Gras festivities with live music hosted by N’Awlins Grille and other partner bars.
3. Mardi Gras Fundraiser for Eclectic Avenue Community Arts Center at Murphy’s Taproom, 494 Elm St. – 6:30 p.m. – midnight, $10 suggested donation at the door.
Put your party mask on and celebrate! Live music by Justin Cohen, MB Padfield, Blacklight Ruckus, and O.B.E.Sound by Transit Music Group, lots of raffle items, Silent auction, Best Mask contest and more! Proceeds will go toward realizing a community arts collective, Eclectic Avenue Community Arts Center, which will be a non-profit offering a space for collaboration and inspiration — and a teen center that will encourage youth leadership and community volunteer work. Read more here on their Facebook page.