Fat Tuesday on Mill Avenue in Tempe has been around for 20 years! Why? Because they do things right. I’m pretty sure that our friends at Monti’s, are the only place along the Mill Avenue District that have been around longer.
Yesterday, I met with my friend Chad who owns and manages Fat Tuesday in Tempe and talked about a bunch of the cool things they are doing to celebrate Mardi Gras on Mill Avenue. Chad is celebrating their 20 year anniversary BIG time! In fact, the celebrations have already started with a ramped up menu featuring some GREAT food ( trust me, it’s good, you need to check it out ) and by throwing the biggest Mardi Gras party Tempe has ever seen. The Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras promotion started last Saturday and runs for 18 days with their blow out on Fat Tuesday on the 16th. Yes, mark your calendar for Fat Tuesday on February 16th.
Each day leading up to Fat Tuesday has something different. Today, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman will be on hand to give the “official proclamation of Mardi Gras” at 4:30pm.
Sunday, they are throwing a HUGE New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Party. If you are looking for a place to watch the big game, you probably can’t go wrong here!
Saturday the 13th is a “frat boy” crawfish eating contest where the winners get a $500.00 bar tab. Oh, my… I can’t wait to see that one. I wonder if they will let an “old man” enter?
Another “can’t miss” event will be their suitcase party where one lucky couple will win a trip to New Orleans to party it up on Bourbon Street! I guess the only down side to that will be the fact that you will miss the madness on Mill.
It all leads us up to Tuesday the 16th for the big Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday on Mill Avenue. As you know, light rail is probably your easiest way to join in on the fun. If you don’t live close, just leave your car at one of the free Park and Ride lots and take the light rail to the 3rd Street and Mill Avenue station. From there, it is a short walk south to Fat Tuesday at 680 S Mill Avenue. Check out this video of Chad giving us the scoop…
Here is a recent press release sent out by our friends at the City of Tempe. It has a few more details…
Fat Tuesday celebrates 20 years on Mill with Carnival music, food, and free trips
Fat Tuesday celebrates 20 years on Mill Avenue this year, making it older than any drinking establishment on Mill, other than Monti’s, which is classified as a restaurant.
“I believe in Mill Avenue, said Chad Wilford, an owner and general manager of Fat Tuesday. “No other city in Arizona offers what Mill Avenue has.”
Beyond his involvement with Fat Tuesday, Wilford leads the Mill Avenue Coalition, a group of businesses that have joined hands to make Downtown Tempe better. “I grew up in Tempe, I went to school in Tempe and have lived in Tempe. I have a deep rooted love for the city,” he said.
This year, as part of the anniversary, Fat Tuesday is celebrating not just one day of Mardi Gras but all the days of the season of Carnival. Food is a big part of Cajun celebration.
Fat Tuesday once had a comprehensive menu, but as times changed, the menu was greatly reduced. According to Wilford, many of the dishes being returned to the restaurant are the same recipes used 20 years ago.
“I have rolled out a menu that pays tribute to the city in which we were founded,” he said.
The Fat Tuesday parties are as flashy as the city best known for their celebration. On Friday, Fat Tuesday begins its Carnival celebration with a proclamation from Mayor Hugh Hallman. There’s a crawfish boil every Friday and Saturday through Feb. 16. On Feb. 13, there’s a crawfish eating contest between ASU Fraternities vying for a $500 gift card. On Valentine’s Day, there’s a Suitcase Party, where two people will win an immediate trip for two to New Orleans that includes spot on Bourbon Street balcony to watch the celebration unfold. Bring your packed suitcase – you leave right after the drawing for the airport. And for those still in town on Fat Tuesday, the bar will have a namesake celebration starting at 11 a.m. with zydeco music, crawfish, music and beads.
Fat Tuesday is located on Mill Avenue and Sixth Street. Parking is available throughout the downtown. Best light rail station is Mill Avenue at Third Street.
Fat Tuesday visit www.mardigrastempe.com