Downtown hosting Mardi Gras festivities at CityScape

The Downtown Mardi Gras Parade, Festival and Mardi Pub Crawl will hit the streets of downtown March 4. The Festival at CityScape is free while tickets for the Pub Crawl, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., cost $7 to $15. (Kendra Yost/DD)

The Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors will host the Downtown Phoenix Mardi Gras Parade, Festival and Mardi Crawl on Friday.

The streets will be filled with floats, fire dancers, pirates, hula hoopers, dance teams and local bands. The parade starts at 7 p.m. and begins at North First Street between East Jefferson & East Madison streets. The route is two miles long and circles through the core of downtown Phoenix.

The parade and festival are free of charge and kick off at CityScape with local bands including live performances from the ASU African Drums.

CityScape was chosen for its central location and easy access to the light rail, according to Downtown Phoenix Ambassador program manager Samantha Jackson.

“CityScape is such a fun venue, with promise to be an amazing gathering place for the downtown community,” Jackson said. “We thought it would be natural fit for the festival.”

Three food trucks will be on-site including Torched Goodness (Crème Brule), Short Leash (hot dogs) and Jamburritos (Cajun cooking). These are a few of the trucks involved with Food Truck Friday at the Phoenix Public Market.

There will be craft vendors, Mardi Gras beads and masks, psychics and a “live event artist” who will paint the event as it unfolds.

The “Mardi Crawl” will run from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and will make stops at Seamus McCaffrey’s, Rose & Crown, Bar Smith, Coach & Willie’s and Ghost Lounge. Trolleys will be available to assist groups to each bar.

Event-goers can choose to end their night at Steve’s Greenhouse Grill where breakfast will be served at 1 a.m.

“I have been waiting for downtown Phoenix to come alive,” Phil Allen, a downtown resident said. “Community is important for making a city successful.”

Tickets for the Mardi Crawl are $7 & $10 (including breakfast) in advance or $10 & $15 (including breakfast) the day of the event.

Mardi Gras dress is strongly encouraged.

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