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Forget institutions like marriage, parenting and independent living for a moment.

On the list of payoffs for growing up and having to rigorously adult on a regular basis, the added bonus of holiday partying is a great place to start. Most 20 and 30-somethings love Halloween, and it has nothing to do with candy. Hell, who hasn’t had one too many mimosas (or Jager shots, for that matter) at family Thanksgiving or Christmas?

The Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s – the holiday itself doesn’t even matter – you’ve probably enjoyed adult beverages in celebration. It’s practically an American rite of passage.

Why then is Mardi Gras, the holiday created specifically for debauchery, so often overlooked and underappreciated?

No more.

Maybe you can’t be a Bourbon Street baller in New Orleans or indulge in all the Brazilian sinning you could do during Carnival. Don’t fret, Reno has you covered.

If for no other reason than $3 beers and mixed drinks, including hurricanes, and no cover charge all over downtown, it’s time to wise up and clear your schedule for the Mardi Crawl on Jan. 30.

The Category 5
Adulting is often about acting appropriately and in moderation. Those words have no place on Mardi Gras.

As the celebration before the fasting of Lent, Mardi Gras is by definition about excess.

The crawl kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Waterfall and includes 15 bars throughout downtown. Whether you’re into clubs or pubs, casinos or the river scene, it shouldn’t be hard to find plenty of spots in which to celebrate Mardi Gras as inappropriately as you desire.

The Mardi Crawl is about living it up and going hard. If you don’t have a headache on Jan. 31, you probably did it wrong. Just don’t be dumb.
So find a designated driver (or get a room), plan your route, grab a hurricane and try not to throw up on a cop car.

Come right
While that Mardi Gras excess could revolve around the amount you choose to imbibe it also represents a mindset and culture that includes your attire.

Even if you’re not at America’s Mardi Gras capital, showing up in your normal weekend wear is unacceptable. Paint your face, wear a mask, sport bright colors and heap on the beads (or be prepared to earn them). Mardi Gras is about letting go, cutting loose and enjoying life.

If you’re going to do Mardi Gras, at least do it right.

Speaking of beads
It’s OK to admit that you don’t mind a little toplessness. Most dudes don’t.

So if your beads elicit an encounter with a grand pair, or several, of those mythical chest warlocks at the crawl, appreciate their majesty without guilt.

But for all that is holy (Keep in mind Mardi Gras is a religious holiday. Sort of.) don’t be one of those pushy, obsessive “show me your boobs” guys. Remember the going rate for the beads your tossing around is about a $1 per metric ton and you probably just took them off a passed out drunk anyway, so it’s not like you’re handing out precious gems and diamond watches. Plus it’s creepy and desperate, two traits that are never fashionable.

Instead, heed the advice of your stodgy high school football coach and “act like you’ve been there before”.

Get your cup here!

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