February 27, 2014

Bead up Modesto, Mardi Gras to hit downtown

Modesto gets its Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday on.

As long as you’re letting the good times roll, might as well let them roll a little longer.

Modesto will celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday with street parties, Louisiana feasts and beads – always beads. Local restaurants Tresetti’s World Caffé and Harvest Moon both have events planned to celebrate the traditional festivities that happen right before Lent.

Tresetti’s celebrates with its 20th annual festivities, which this year will be split into two events. For the first time, the restaurant will have a Mardi Gras street party on Saturday, then have a smaller Fat Tuesday meal in the restaurant on Tuesday.

The party along 11th Street on Saturday night will feature themed bars, painted facades, Bourbon Street flavor and live entertainment. The Bay Area-based DJ and dance troupe The Dancetronauts will perform, as will several local musicians and DJs. VIP ticket-buyers also can enjoy a Cajun dinner inside the restaurant.

“We’re making people really feel like they are in New Orleans,” said Tresetti’s co-owner Tammy Maisetti. “When people think about New Orleans and Mardi Gras, they think about crazy beads and hats and boas and all that kind of stuff. So now they get to do that here.”

Last year, more than 2,000 people attended the street festival on Fat Tuesday. Maisetti said splitting the celebrations into two events allows more people to take part and keeps the party going longer. The tradition began 20 years ago in a private residence and has grown to be one of downtown Modesto’s larger outdoor events.

On Fat Tuesday itself, Tresetti’s will offer a more intimate party in the restaurant, featuring a New Orleans-themed dinner. Diners are encouraged to dress in festive attire. Of course, there will be beads.

Also on Fat Tuesday, fellow downtown Modesto restaurant Harvest Moon will hold its 16th annual celebration. The restaurant hosts a family-style Mardi Gras dinner. The meal includes gumbo, étouffée, barbecued ribs, fried chicken, black-eyed peas, king cake and more.

And, fear not, there also will be beads.

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