For those serious about giving up a vice during Lent, Mardi Graswhich falls on March 8 this yearis their last chance to eat, drink and party before the start of the period of penance. Long Beachs Mardi Gras celebration begins with free, family-friendly activities and entertainment at the Pike, including a shrimp-eating contest at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. At 3 p.m., a parade to show off the crazy costumes traditionally associated with Mardi Gras runs from the Aquarium of the Pacific to Shoreline Village. Afterward, the party continues with live music, dancing, a costume contest and a beer garden. Although Long Beachs version of this party-hard holiday is rather PG-rated, not to worrythere will be plenty of beads.
Sat., March 5, noon, 2011