Arty Gras 2004 at the Junior League of St. Louis. In partnership with Young Audiences of St. Louis. Make instruments and costumes with Brazilian percussion artist Moacyr Marchini; learn about puppet-making with puppeteer Finny Weiss; create beautiful origami sculptures with Japanese artist Nanae Hunter; tap to the rhythm with dancer Kim Miller; and enjoy Dixieland classics with the River City Ramblers Dixieland Band. Sponsored by Team St. Louis. Sunday, February 15, 1-3 p.m. $2 per person, up to $10 per family. 10435 Clayton Rd. Call 314-569-3117, ext. 270, to register in advance.
Banana Bike Brigade's 5th Annual Banana Ball Costume contest at 8:30 p.m., music by the Garbanzos and special guest Swing Set. $15 in advance at the Framery (11th & Russell), $20 at the door. Cash food and bar. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Circus Day Foundation. Saturday, February 14, 7 p.m.-1 a.m. South Broadway Athletic Club, 2301 S. 7th Street. Call 314-776-4833.
Beggin' Strips Krewe of Barkus Pet ParadeMardi Gras goes to the dogs...and cats, fish, livestock and many more animals as pet lovers bring their faithful companions to this seventeenth annual celebration of pets. Parade starts at 1 p.m. and makes its way through Soulard, ending at Soulard Market Park. Animal participants are subject to the approval of Mardi Gras, Inc. and the St. Louis Department of Animal Control based on appropriateness, temperament and health. No charge, but participants are encouraged to make a $5 donation to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill animal shelter. Sunday, February 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration is at Clementine's (on the corner of Allen and Menard) at 10 a.m. Maps are available at www.mardigrasinc.com.
Broadway Oyster Bar Friday, February 20, in the heated tent: Naked Groove and Impala Deluxe, 8 p.m.-close, $5. Saturday, February 21, in the heated tent: Dangerous Kitchen, Gumbohead, Dash Rip Rock, 1 p.m.-midnight, $5. Tuesday, February 24: Fat Tuesday with Doug Legacy and the Zydeco Party Band, 9 p.m.-close, $5. Costumes encouraged. 736 S. Broadway. Call 314-621-8811.
Bubby & Sissy's Mardi Gras Dance Party Saturday, February 21, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Drag shows at 11 p.m. & 1 a.m. featuring Shelbie Reightback, Erica Leigh Foster, Sable Sinclair and Marissa Bloomingdale. No cover. 602 Belle St., Alton, Illinois. Call 618-465-4773.
Casa Loma Ballroom Friday, February 20, Mardi Gras Party with Mystic Knights of the Purple Haze, music by Bob Chase & His Wild Accusations and Gumbo Head. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Admission is $25 in advance through Metro Tix or $30 at the door. Includes beer, wine, soda and beads. Friday, February 20. 3354 Iowa Ave. Call 314-664-8000 or visit www.casalomaballroom.com for more information.
Cat's Meow Inc. Annual Washer Tournament. Saturday, February 14. Registration starts at 10 a.m.; tournament starts at 11 a.m. $15 per team of two. 2600 South Eleventh Street at Sidney. Call 314-776-8617 to pre-register.
Charter Communications Grand Parade Downtown to Soulard. The Grand Parade is the centerpiece of St. Louis' Mardi Gras celebration. Now in its 25th year, the parade is a colorful and eclectic collection of floats and walking performers. The parade has something for everyone, including the kids, who can visit the Family Fun Area in Kiener Plaza. Saturday, February 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. This event is free.
Clementine's Thursday, February 19: Annual Tacky Ball Gown Contest. Saturday, February 21: High Heel Drag Race on Allen Avenue, 3 p.m. Awards hosted by Petrina Marie, costume contest, cash prizes. Corner of Allen and Menard. Call 314-664-7869 for more information.
Fat Tuesday Parade The Fat Tuesday parade is a colorful night parade through the streets of downtown St. Louis. Beginning in the Schlafly Tap Room parking lot at Locust and 21st streets, the parade makes its way through the revitalized St. Louis loft district and concludes at Washington Avenue and 4th Street at the top of Laclede's Landing. The parade consists of the 50 best floats and performers from the Grand Parade. Grab a spot anywhere along the route. and enjoy the rare treat of a nighttime parade. Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 p.m.-midnight. This event is free.
Fat Tuesday Party Zones The Fat Tuesday celebration includes three party zones: the Schlafly Tap Room parking lot, the Washington Avenue Garment/Loft District on Washington Avenue between Tucker Boulevard and 14th Street, and on Laclede's Landing. The party zones are fun-filled street festivals, and each features its own unique brand of entertainment. Participating establishments in these three zones will offer samples of signature dishes and plenty of refreshments for sale at outdoor booths. Tuesday, February 24, 4-8 p.m. Visit www.mardisgrasinc.com for more information.
Fête du Bon Vieux Temps (Festival of the Good Old Days) Period music, candlelight tours, trial re-enactments and a Colonial Mardi Gras Ball from 7-11 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Eighteenth-century costumes are encouraged. Tickets for ball are $6. Saturday, February 21, 2-5 p.m. Cahokia Courthouse, Jarrott Mansion, Holy Family Log Church and Martin-Boismenue House, Cahokia, Illinois. Call 618-332-1782 for more information.
Graham's Grill & Bayou BarWednesday, February 18: Frankie Catalina, 6-9:30 p.m.; Friday, February 20: Blue Daddy, 8 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, February 21: the Don Scherrer Banjo Band, 3-7 p.m.; Keith Doder & the Blue City Band, 8 p.m.-midnight; Tuesday, February 24: the Don Scherrer Banjo Band, 6-10 p.m.; nightly Cajun specials: February 18-24. 612 Woodbine, Kirkwood. Call 314-965-2003 for more information.