Originally Published: February 10, 2005 7 a.m.
Early explorers celebrated the French holiday of Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1699.
The parades, rituals, costumes, beads, and cuisine have made Mardi Gras a popular event not just in its native New Orleans but all over the United States.
If you can't make it to New Orleans for the event, we'll be having a little celebration of our own right here on the banks of Granite Creek starting next week (Feb. 3) and running through Sunday, Feb. 20.
Numerous local saloons and restaurants will serve special Cajun dishes and drinks along with live entertainment in the spirit of the Mardi Gras celebration.
Participating hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts will provide a 10% discount to those who show a receipt of $25 or more to local restaurants and bars.
Included in the Mardi Gras celebration is the Elks Opera House 100th Anniversary with special events from Feb. 14 through Feb. 20.
Among the food specials at restaurants participating in Mardi Gras are:
• The Hassayamapa Inn (features a blackened catfish with red beans and rice, dessert and drink specials)
• Murphy's (Cajun friend cornish game hen, jalapeño trout, oyster bacon pie, duck and andouille gumbo)
• The Gurley Grill (chicken and andouille jambalaya)
• N'awlins (a whole Cajun menu including gator chili and shrimp etouffee)
• The Prescott Brewing Company (featuring Cajun specials on weekends).
• Caffe St. Michael (blackened ahi with crawfish sauce, Cajun meatloaf and New Orleans barbecued shrimp and other specials).
Look for Mardi Gras drink specials at the participating restaurants to go with the food specials.
Hotels, motels and bed & breakfast participants include: The Hassayampa Inn, SpringHill Suites, Apple Creek Cottages, The Prescott Resort, Hotel Vendome, Treehouse B&B, Pleasant Street Inn, and Comfort Inn Prescott.
For more information on our local Mardi Gras and area participants, call the Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-266-7534 or go to www.visit-prescott.com/mardigras.html.