Mardi Gras Happenings

1860's Hardshell Cafe Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue; special for Mardi Gras, Feb. 17 and 25 Lightin' Bottle; Feb 18 Tony Campanella; Feb. 24 Steve Pecaro and Feb. 25 Jimmy Lee in the courtyard. Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $20. 1860's Hard Shell Cafe & Bar, 1860 S Ninth St., St. Louis, 314-231-1860.

59th Street Mardi Gras Italiano Festival: Celebrate Bella's first annual Mardi Gras on the Hill with an all-day block party with music, karaoke and games. Sat., Feb. 25, 10 a.m. Bella's, 5838 Southwest Blvd., 314-644-1777.

Al Hrabosky's Mardi Gras: Start off with the Mardi Gras Parade at Al's and end your night there too with their DJ. Sat., Feb. 25, 10-3 a.m. Al Hrabosky's Ballpark Saloon, 800 Cerre St., St. Louis, 314-241-6969, www.alsballparksaloon.com.

Beggin' Strips Krewe of Barkus Parade: Register your dog (either online at mardigrasinc.com or at Clementine's) to march in the Krewe of Barkus Pet Parade; costumes for humans and animals alike are strongly encouraged. Sun., Feb. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $10 donation to Open Door Animal Sanctuary encouraged, 314-771-5110.

The Benevolent Ball: The Krewe of Benevolence hosts this event with music by SMASH band; tickets include beer, beads and snacks; cash prizes for the best costumes and best table decorations; the theme is "The Small Screen." Sat., Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 at door, 314-771-5110, www.mardigrasinc.com. South Broadway Athletic Club, 2301 S Seventh St., St. Louis, 314-776-4833, www.southbroadwayac.org.

The Shanti's Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue. Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $20. Shanti, 825 Allen, St. Louis, 314-241-4772.

Cajun Buffet: Fat Tuesday's buffet includes Jambalaya, sausage, beans and rice, mostaccioli, hot links and po' boys. Tue., Feb. 28, 5-9 p.m., $9.95. Norton's, 808 Geyer, St. Louis, 314-436-0828.

Carson's Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue. Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $20. Carson's, 1712 S 9th, St. Louis, 314-436-2707.

Cat's Meow Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue. Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $20. Cat's Meow, 2600 S 11th St., St. Louis, 314-776-8617.

Charter Communications Mardi Gras Grand Parade: Soulard salutes the small screen in this year's parade that travels from Broadway and Chouteau Ave to the heart of Soulard. Sat., Feb. 25, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Chicken Wing Eating Contest: Taste of Soulard venue; eat up the most wings, win some cash. Tue., Feb. 21, $10 per entrant, www.hammerstones.net. Hammerstone's, 2028 S. 9th, St. Louis, 314-773-5565.

Clementine's Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue; register for the Mystic Krewe of Barkus Dog Parade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 19; annual Tacky Ball Gown contest on Feb. 23; High Heel Drag Race on Feb 25 at 3 p.m. with Allen Avenue Awards to follow. Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $20. Clementine's, 2001 Menard St., St. Louis, 314-664-7869, www.clementinesbar.com.

Club Buca's Mardi Gras: St. Louis' premiere nightclub on the Landing is home to the official Mardi Gras Parade after party; also open Fat Tuesday. Sat., Feb. 25, 2 p.m., 314-231-2822. Club Buca, 710 N. 2nd St. (on Laclede's Landing), St. Louis, 314-231-BUCA.

DB's Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue. Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $20. DB's Sports Bar, 1615 S Broadway, St. Louis, 314-588-2141.

Delta Dental Mardi Gras, Zoo Style: A family-friendly celebration at the Living World at the St. Louis Zoo with music by Bob Case; kids can make their own masks and watch performances about the importance of dental care. Sun., Feb. 26, 12-3 p.m., free. Saint Louis Zoo, Forest Park, St. Louis, 314-781-0900, www.stlzoo.org.

Eighteenth Century Costume Ball: Celebrate Mardi Gras as the settlers did at this costume ball. Sat., Feb. 25, 7-11 p.m., $8. Knights of Columbus Hall-Cahokia, 100 E Fifth, Cahokia, Ill.

Fat Tuesday featuring the Bud Light Party Zone: Parade begins at 6:30 p.m.; Dr. Zhivegas performs. Tue., Feb. 28, free, 314-771-5110, www.mardigrasinc.com. Kiener Plaza, 7th & Market streets, St. Louis.

Fete du Bon Vieux Temps: Step back 200 years in time and celebrate Mardi Gras like the French settlers did; exhibits, tours and presentations abound at the state historic sites. Sat., Feb. 25, 2-5 p.m., free. Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site, 107 Elm (Hwy. 157 & Rte. 3), Cahokia, Ill. 618-332-1782.

Freddie's and JJ's Clubhouse Mardi Gras Shuttle: Be safe and leave your driving woes to the Freddie's and JJ's Clubhouse shuttle. Sat., Feb. 25, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., $2. Freddie's, 4112 Manchester, St. Louis, 314-371-1333.

Gateway to the West H.O.G. Chapter Mardi Gras Ball: Costume contest (the party theme is "Small Screen") and live music by ConCokShun; proceeds benefit local charities. Sat., Feb. 18, 7 p.m., $15, call 314-845-9900 for info. Meramec Arnold Elks Lodge, 1515 Miller Rd, Imperial.

Gladstone's Mardi Gras: Taste of Soulard venue; additionally, schedule includes karaoke beginning at 9 p.m. on Fri., Feb 17 and Fri., Feb 24; music by Casual Labor starting at 8 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 18 and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 25; Catfish Willie at 7 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 25; and Chicago Bob starting at 7 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 28. Gladstone's, 1800 S. 10th, St. Louis, 314-231-6339.

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