Carnival has already been pretty wild this year, and it hasn’t even started in earnest. Down in New Orleans last week, the satirical Krewe du Vieux and Krewe Delusion processions brought plenty of raunchy anti-Trump floats and golden shower gags, as you can see from the photos and video sprinkled below. And not even those could top the Wild West-themed Trump float spotted at an Italian carnivale. But please, folks, let’s not let our jester-in-chief ruin what should be a glorious time of indulgence. Come Fat Tuesday, you should be fully focused on snagging free booze, southern grub, and freebies– that’s right, some local spots are prepared to throw more than just beads at you. Here’s who’s letting the good times roll this year.
Karneval Universal: May The Wurst Be With You
Feb. 23 to 25 at Zum Schneider, 107 Ave C, East Village.
After you’ve kicked off the party at Esperanto’s Brazilian-style Carnaval, stroll a few blocks to this German beer bar’s Cologne-style Karneval. Expect this to be on the bro-ey side, just like the real deal in Germany: Women drink Reissdorf Kölsch for free from 6pm to 8pm, and guys and girls both can get a 10% discount on costumes at Halloween Adventure if they mention Zum Schneider.
Feb. 24 at House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave., East Williamsburg; tickets $0-25.
Pretty much every day is carnaval for the art-partiers over at JunXion, so you know this is going to be a celebration. The live acts will offer both a taste of New Orleans (via the High & Mighty Brass Band) and a taste of Brazil (via Samba New York!), while DJs take the party fully global.
Carnaval Celebration at Esperanto
Feb. 24 to 28 at Esperanto, 145 Ave. C, East Village.
Free cachaça shots, anyone? They’ll be circulating on Friday and Saturday as this East Village standby adds a special Mardi Gras king cake to its usual menu of Brazilian staples. Guest who drop in from now until Feb. 26 will get a mystery envelope (while supplies last) that can be opened and redeemed on Feb. 27 and 28– prizes include free drinks, free brunch, and even a $100 gift certificate.
Heavy Woods/Tchoup Shop Mardi Gras
Feb. 28 (and food/drink specials all week) at Heavy Woods/Tchoup Shop, 50 Wyckoff Ave., East Williamsburg.
In case you’re wondering, “Tchoup” (short for Tchoupitoulas Street) is pronounced “Chop,” but you definitely won’t remember that after a night of $8 frozen hurricanes at fun-lovin’ New Orleans spot Tchoup Shop. In addition to a slew of DJs, there’ll be $5 Abita brews on tap, king cake, and some Nola grub specials.
Mardi Gras: Brass, Sass, and Ass
Feb. 28, 10pm, at House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave., East Williamsburg; free with RSVP
This one may have a raunchy theme, but don’t expect a Bourbon Street bro-down (“we are obsessed with CONSENT,” the invitation informs). One thing will definitely be horn-y: the Idle Hands Brass Band, performing at 10pm. There’ll also be an aerial show from Lady Circus and “booty shaking Nola bounce” from DJ Illexxandra. Costumes are “strongly encouraged,” so don’t be lame.
Two Boots Mardi Gras Party
Feb. 28, 8pm to midnight at Two Boots, 42 Avenue A, East Village.
East Village pizzeria Two Boots has been reppin’ Nola for two decades– much longer than all these poboy-come-latelies. Once again they’re feting Fat Tuesday with music from Metropolitan Klezmer and free boudin, pizza, and king cake. You can even enter to win a weekend for two in New Orleans. Not bad, dat.
Mardi Gras at The Evergreen
Feb. 28 at The Evergreen, 109 Moffat St., Brooklyn.
We’re not sure what else it has going on, but this local spot in Bushwick has said the magic words: “free jambalaya” from 8pm onward.
“Roots of Southern Cooking” Dinner Series
Feb. 28, Root & Bone, 200 E. 3rd St., East Village; visit OpenTable or call 646-682-7076 for reservations.
Fifty bucks gets you three courses of real-deal Creole food: the recipes were pulled from The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book, a legendary tome first published by the New Orleans Times-Picayune in the 1800s. This ain’t no Emeril. In addition to your choice of dishes like crawfish bisque, Creole jambalaya, and red beans and rice, there’ll be a la carte classic cocktails such as sazeracs.
March 4 at Drom, 85 Avenue A, East Village; tickets $10.
You knew world-music destination Drom was going to bring it for Carnaval. Indeed they’re recreating the flavor of a Brazilian samba school via a night that’ll feature a free drumming lesson, live batucada, some strumming from the Samba Guitar Duo, and Brazilian beats by DJ Anderson Trindade.