Decorated Mardi Gras babies stand atop a king cake with beads and confetti.

Decorated Mardi Gras babies stand atop a king cake with beads and confetti.

Brian Elledge/Staff photographer

Update at 6 p.m. March 1, 2019: Due to the weather forecast for Sunday morning, Krewe of Barkus' vendor expo and costume contest stage have been moved inside the bottom level of the Chestnut Commons Parking Garage, 301 E. Virginia St. The parade will continue as planned for 2 p.m.

Finding Mardi Gras fun in Dallas-Fort Worth is easier than picking the slice of king cake with the baby Jesus hidden inside. Almost any choice among the following zydeco bashes and crawfish blowouts will ensure a fabulous Fat Tuesday (or a weekend head start). Laissez les bon temps rouler all around North Texas.

Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade

Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District has a reputation as one of Dallas' most colorful neighborhoods, so that makes it a perfect spot to celebrate with the green, purple and gold tones of this vivid holiday. The block party begins at 2 p.m. and features hurricane cocktails, cold beer and a crawfish boil by "resident Cajun" chef Michelle Carpenter of Zen Sushi. Swing dance to zydeco music through the streets of Bishop Avenue, which will close to traffic, and grab a good view of the family-friendly parade, which begins at 4 p.m.

March 3 from 2 to 7 p.m. in the Bishop Arts District, near West Davis Street and North Bishop Avenue in Dallas. The parade starts at 4 p.m. and travels West Davis from North Windomere Avenue to North Madison Avenue. Free. facebook.com/gooakcliff.

Krewe of Barkus (UPDATED)

Krewe of Barkus Dog Parade and Festival

[Due to the weather forecast for Sunday morning, the vendor expo and costume contest stage have been moved inside the bottom level of the Chestnut Commons Parking Garage, 301 E. Virginia St. The parade will continue as planned for 2 p.m.] More than 250 costumed canines are expected to saunter through the streets of historic downtown McKinney during this 17th annual celebration of pup culture. This year's theme "keeps it real" with a hat-tip to reality TV shows such as American Idol, Jersey Shore, Top Chef and The Bachelor . Watch the parade as it travels through the historic downtown district, check out vendors and enjoy family activities.

March 3 at 2 p.m. on the downtown square around the McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. Free. mckinneytexas.org.

Mardi Gras March

Want to join a 30-piece brass band on a jazzy jaunt through Deep Ellum inspired by New Orleans' second lines? This annual party hosted by Cajun restaurant the Free Man features trombone, tuba and trumpet players taking to the streets of the Dallas neighborhood known for live music and artsy culture. After the procession, return to the Free Man Cajun Cafe and Lounge to dine on étouffée, jambalaya and boudin balls, and enjoy a lively concert featuring the Free Loaders, the Big Ass Brass Band and Stefanie Pepping and the Sassafras Swing Set.

March 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Free Man, 2626 Commerce St., Dallas. Free. Menu prices vary. freemandallas.com.

City of Lake Dallas Mardi Gras

Lake Dallas Mardi Gras

Mask your face, but not your desire for Mardi Gras fun at this festive celebration in Denton County. Revelers will win cash prizes and trophies for costumes, parade floats and masks (designed by area schoolchildren prior to the event), so you know competitors will go all out in letting the good times roll. Browse vendors and food truck fare or take part in a crawfish-eating contest to see who can down the most mudbugs in three minutes. Catch beads at the family-friendly parade, which begins at 5:30 p.m., and hear live music by the Lake Dallas High School Jazz Band and the N'Awlins Gumbo Kings.

March 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Lake Dallas City Hall, 212 Main St., Lake Dallas. Free. lakedallas.com.

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