Nevada City Mardi Gras and Ike’s Quarter Cafe

GAILY MASKED CHARACTERS, JESTERS and Cajun cookin’ come to the foothills in midwinter as Mardi Gras is celebrated in historic Nevada City.

The city’s main drag, Broad Street, becomes Bourbon Street as spectators fill the downtown for the annual Mardi Gras parade.

Now in its 19th year, it is one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside the Deep South. Though popular with locals, the festivities also offer an ideal getaway—for a ski break from Truckee/Tahoe or a weekend jaunt from Sacramento or Reno.

This year’s celebration begins March 5 with a masquerade ball and ends March 6 with a free family parade.

“Mardi gras colors are everywhere,” says one regular. “Purple, green and gold balloons, ribbons and flags adorn the parade floats.”

Costumed riders on colorful floats wind their way through the historic district, handing out beads, coins and trinkets. Parade goers also wear Mardi Gras dress, from mom and dad down to the youngest. Along the parade route, restaurants and shops are filled visitors and locals.

Cajun food is available all weekend, including Cajun sausage sandwiches, chicken and sausage gumbo, red beans and rice, Muffuletta sandwiches and Manale prawns.

A street fair before and after the parade includes food booths, crafts and clothing vendors, specialty coffee and beads and boas for sale.

For more information, contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce 530-265-2692

Blackened Catfish at Ike’s

FOR CAJUN CUISINE YEAR-ROUND, VISIT Ike’s Quarter Cafe in Nevada City.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Ike’s New Orleans cuisine is the region’s finest: blackened catfish, red beans and rice, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, po’ boy sandwiches, cornmeal crusted oyster, Eggs Sardou and other authentic dishes—all made fresh,
from scratch.

Ike’s motto, borrowed from New Orleans Chef Paul Prudomme: “When the taste changes with every bite, and the last bite is as good as the first, that’s cajun, and that’s Louisiana cooking.”

Ike’s is a “green” restaurant, too. They use free range, naturally raised meats as well as organic eggs, grains, flours, dairy and vegetables.

Ike’s Quarter Cafe
401 Commercial St., Nevada City

(Photo credit: Gary Swenor)

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