Fayetteville Mardi Gras 2012 festivities begin this week

Mardi Gras revelers reveling in the Fat Saturday Parade of Fools on Dickson Street in 2011.

Dustin Bartholomew, Fayetteville Flyer

Put on your jester hat, a crazy mask, and buy a 30-pack of plastic beads, everyone. It’s time for Fayetteville’s Mardi Gras celebration.

The local party is entering its 21st year, and there are four main events scheduled over the next week leading up to Fat Tuesday on Feb. 21.

Here’s what we know about each event. Get out there and do some reveling.

Parade of Pearls

Where: Fayetteville City Hospital
When: Feb. 17, 2 p.m.
What: Each year on the Friday before Mardi Gras, the Demented Krewe of Dickson parades in costumes for the residents at Fayetteville City Hospital, a long-term care facility here in town. They’re also seeking volunteers to join the party.

Fat Saturday Parade of Fools

Where: Dickson Street
When: Saturday, Feb. 18, 2:30 p.m.
What: The parade begins on the Fayetteville Square, and runs along Block Avenue to Dickson Street, and then down to West Avenue (see map below).

Masquerade of Fools / Funkytown Ball

Where: East Square Plaza
When: Saturday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m.
What: Several local “Krewes” and volunteers come together for an adults-only evening of costumes, music, dancing, and other festivities. Doors open at 7 p.m., the cover is $10 at the door. Expect a cash bar and live music with Snake Eyes & The Bug Band.

Fat Tuesday on Dickson Street

Where: Dickson Street
When: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m.
What: Festivities begin at about 7 p.m. at Sideways bar. The Crowning of the
Royalty of the Demented Krewe of Dickson begins at around 8 p.m. After that, The Krewe will parade with the Billy Zydeco Band through various sponsoring clubs on Dickson Street. Participation is open to all adults.