Get Ready to Masquerade: Mardi Gras Mayhem Heads to Burlington

Mardi Gras, which translates to “Fat Tuesday” in French, brings out the inner debaucherous reveler. What began as merrymakers binging on meat, eggs, milk and cheese to offset Lent has transformed into a liberating carnivale painted in hues of purple, gold and green. Another excuse to reach for a second helping, order off the dessert menu, and fix yourself a colorful elixir–Mardi Gras encourages its patrons to string on metallic beads and crowd the streets in lively splendor.

Photo credit: Church Street Marketplace

Over 1,500 miles north of the Mardi Gras New Orleans epicenter is Burlington, where we find ourselves celebrating the Pagan holiday in our own close-knit, quirky, granola way.

The 22nd Annual Magic Hat Gras Weekend is an abounding Bacchanalia bringing together the three things Vermonters love most: beer, charity and one another. Bundle up and brave the wintry slush for a splendorous weekend serving a great cause–the Vermont Foodbank.

The Vermont Foodbank helps the 1 in 4 Vermonters struggling with hunger. Through food donations and innovative community initiatives like the BackPack Program and Veggie VanGo, the Vermont Foodbank is making substantial progress towards a hunger-free tomorrow. Over the years, the Magic Hat Mardi Gras Weekend has helped raise over $250,000 towards the Vermont Foodbank.

Whether wanting to celebrate the season or energized by the Vermont Foodbank’s noble cause, the 22nd Annual Magic Hat Gras Weekend is something you won’t want to miss.

Grab your Trapper Keeper and PDA because here is the weekend low-down:

Photo credit: Church Street Marketplace


The Kick-Off Party

6PM–Fishbone is playing the eclectic, funky tunes at the top of Church Street

8PM–Steady Betty–the 8-piece, all-star rocksteady band–is heading to Higher Ground with Billy Dean & the Honor Roll, Lady Moon & the Eclipse and DJ Ryan Brown

For after hours, be sure to check out all the Mardi Gras shenanigans around BTV:

  • The Archives
  • Gaku Ramen
  • Ri Ra
  • Ruben James
  • Red Square
  • Nectar’s
  • Club Metronome
  • Manhattan Pizza
  • ½ Lounge
  • Sidebar
  • Sweetwaters
  • Skinny Pancake
  • Halvorson’s
  • Church and Main
  • Three Needs
  • Mr. Mike’s
  • Church Street Tavern


10AM-1PM–Kick off the day with Kegs & Eggs. Pop on over to the Magic Hat Brewery for live music, food trucks, brewery tours and Mardi Gras performers.

12PM-2PM–Live music is happening on Church Street as well with Brooklyn’s unconventional, hip-hop brass ensemble, PitchBlak Brass Band followed by Big Mean Sound Machine and their evolutionary rhythm and high energy.

2:15-3PM-The #9 Fun Run helps you run off those Mardi Gras calories with a .9 mile jog, starting at the intersection of Church and Main.

3PM–PARADE!! Grab your beads, funky Mardi Gras attire and head to Main Street for an sea of colorful floats and endless entertainment


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