New Orleans is 865 miles away from Wichita. But one day a year, Wichita bars, restaurants and venues try to bring a taste of The Big Easy to Kansas.
That day is Fat Tuesday, and this year, it’s on Feb. 28. A long list of Mardi Gras-style celebrations are scheduled around Wichita.
The Mudbugs at Heroes: This will be the ninth year in a row that the local Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco band will headline the Fat Tuesday celebration at Heroes, 117 N. Mosley. The bar turns into a dance hall each year as the kitchen serves Cajun specials and the bar mixes hurricanes. It lasts from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and admission is free. All ages are welcome.
Third Annual Red Bean’s Memorial Fat Tuesday celebration: Bill Rowe, the former proprietor of Red Bean’s Bayou Grill, is putting on a Fat Tuesday party at his banquet venue, Villa Luna, at 8406 W. Central. It will feature a buffet of favorites from Red Bean’s, which closed in 2014 after 16 years in business. Among them: firecracker pasta, pork loin Thibideaux, jambalaya and fried pickles. The party, which lasts from 4 to 10 p.m., will also have oyster shots and adult beverages. Tickets are available at the door and are $25 for adults, $11 for ages 4-12 and free for ages 3 and under. No reservations will be accepted, but people can call 316-612-4694 for more information.
Oyster dinner at St. James: The annual St. James Episcopal Church oyster dinner, which always happens on Fat Tuesday, offers all-you-can-eat oysters on the half-shell, fried oysters, oyster stew, dessert and beer and wine on tap. The dinner is at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $45 in advance at the church office, 3750 E. Douglas, or by calling 316-683-5686 or 316-259-7587. Money raised supports Episcopal Social Services.
Doo-Dah Diner’s Fat Tuesday Cajun Feast: The popular diner at 206 E. Kellogg is putting on its fourth annual all-you-can-eat Cajun buffet featuring jambalaya, shrimp etouffee, red beans and rice, blackened chicken, crawfish, fried catfish and King Cake. The feast will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, when the diner is normally closed. Tickets are $40 in advance, available at the diner, or $45 at the door, and proceeds benefit Family Promise of Greater Wichita. This year’s event also will include a cash bar serving bloody Marys, hurricanes and beer. For more information, call 316-265-7011.
Fat Tuesday food truck rally at Ernie Biggs: Several Wichita food trucks will gather in the parking lot of the bar at 550 N. Rock Road, where they will serve food from 6 to 9 p.m. Among the participating trucks: Big Chill Ice Cream, Funky Monkey Munchies, The Big Apple and B.S. Sandwich Press. People will be allowed to take their food truck fare inside Ernie Biggs to enjoy with a Mardi Gras drink.
Fat Tuesday at Whiskey Dicks: The bar at 801 S. Seneca will celebrate Fat Tuesday starting at 11 a.m. and will offer half-price appetizers, $4 hurricanes and $9.99 Cajun platters with frog legs, jalapeno hush puppies and crawfish gumbo. Fat Tuesday happy hour will last from 3 to 6 p.m. with half-price drinks. For more information, call 316-201-6209.
Gianni Bacci’s Second Annual Crayfish Boil: The bar at 301 N. Washington will be boiling crayfish as well as shrimp, corn, onions, potatoes and sausage at this event, scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. New Orleans-style cocktails also will be served. It’s $25 a person. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com.
Mardi Gras at Mort’s: The bar at 923 E. First St. will celebrate Fat Tuesday with hurricanes, jambalaya, king cake and a Cajun-flavored performance by the Fly by Night Band. It’s from 8 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday.