HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Carnival traditions come alive on Fat Tuesday, February 9, 2016 when the 16th Annual Mardi Gras celebration returns to Honolulu's Chinatown Arts District. Starting at 6pm, the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans and Brazil take over seven venues in Downtown / Chinatown. Those 21 & older gain admittance to all seven establishments with the purchase of one wristband. Chinatown's vast array of popular eateries is also getting in on the fun with many serving special Mardi Gras dishes and drinks and offering 10% discounts to festival goers who show their Mardi Gras wristband.
Authentic music and carnival cheer will be in abundance with Reggie Padilla & The Stella Bean Brass Band, as well as Batucada CDO (Brazilian percussion ensemble) and Aloha Samba, roaming about the neighborhood and performing inside each participating venue. A cavalcade of additional Mardi Gras entertainment will also be on display with programming ranging from the 'Sambadrome' at the ARTS at Marks Garage featuring 2DoBem (Brazilian funk), to 'Burnin' on the Bayou' at NextDoor featuring Good Foot (soul, funk, afrobeat), 'Rio By Night' at Scarlet Honolulu featuring Honolulu Zouk (Brazilian zouk), Fusion Dance Company (samba fusion) and Kalalea Lights (LED light show), 'Zydeco Square' at Square Barrels featuring Captain Gris Gris, 'Brasileira Samba' at Manifest (samba lessons & contest), 'Beerdi Gras & Costume Contest' at Bar35 and 'Americana Corner' at Downbeat Lounge featuring Discord & Rye and Serpico and the Sinners.
Of course, no Mardi Gras would be complete without sinful foods inspired by Louisiana, Brazil and beyond. Festival favorite Do Braza Hawaii will dole out Brazilian fare while newcomers La Roux (traditional New Orleans dishes), Guava Smoked (southern-style BBQ) and Il Gelato Hawaii (handmade gelato, a Crescent City staple) add a fresh twist to this year's celebration. Wristband-holders will also receive 10% off of all purchases the night of the event at Chinatown restaurants Grondin French-Latin Kitchen, The Dumb Coq, Maria Bonita, Kan Zaman, Restaurant Epic, Little Village, Pho 'hana, Ethiopian Love and more to be announced! Plus, FREE King Cakes will be given away on the hour between 6PM and 10PM at Smith & Kings restaurant with the lucky person who gets the baby in each cake receiving a Smith & Kings gift certificate.