Get ready to celebrate the Mardi Gras like you are in the Big Easy around Tampa. Beads, floats, dancing, parties and wild costumes all add up to an unforgettable Mardi Gras adventure. Here are the hottest places to celebrate Mardi Gras in true Tampa style.

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Second Annual Mardi Gras Ball / Kiwanis Club of Gulf Beaches

Price: $25.00
Date: Feb 18, 2012
Hours: 7p.m. – 11 p.m.

Add a little spice to your Mardi Gras celebration and with a Big Easy style extravaganza.Ticket prices include a delicious Louisiana cuisine, door prizes,dancing, live music and more. Dance to the beats of authentic cajun, zydeco, blues and jazz music. Party-goers are encouraged to dance the night away for a good cause and dressing with flair. Colorful masks and elegant costumes are optional. Tickets and sales will benefit a variety of Kiwanis charities and a cash bar will be available.

21st Annual Dunedin Mardi Gras
Main Street between Louden Avenue and Broadway
Downtown Dunedin, Florida 34698

Price: Free
Date: February 21, 2012
Hours: 5 p.m.  – 11 p.m.

A family event featuring more than 50 spectacular floats and plenty of bead tossing. Great music featuring The Vodkanauts starts at 5:30p.m. and Grammy award winner Cyril Neville will preform at 8 p.m. After the parade ends at 11p.m., the party spills into the local pubs and restaurants.

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Hours: Thur – Sat – 10 p.m. -3 a.m.

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If you’re looking to go clubbing for Mardi Gras then Club Sky located in Ybor City’s historic entertainment district is the place for fun and excitement. Costumed dancers, astounding light shows, incredible Hip Hop and dance music and beads catapulting from balconies concoct a wild night of Mardi Gras entertainment. Ladies drink free Friday’s until 1 a.m. and until 12 a.m. on Saturday’s. Celebrate Mardi Gras in style at Club Skye.

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Price: $15 in advance/ $18 at the door
Date: Fe. 18, 2012
Hours: 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Check out the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou for an unforgettable Mardi Gras celebration. Kick off the night with a Cajun inspired meal, which includes crawfish cornbread, roast pork, red beans and rice and jambalaya. Next, dance the night away with live accordion-driven music. Come dressed in your finest Mardi Gras costumes and celebrate in true Southern fashion at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou.

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Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando

Price: Mardi Gras is included with Universal Studios admission or Annual Pass.
Dates: Through April 14, 2012

Celebrate Mardi Gras with the entire family. Witness a dazzling parade brimming with amazing floats, flashy costumes, animated performers and great music. It’s a marvelous tribute to the annual shindig of the Big Easy. The February Mardi Gras concert series features, The B-52s, Kelly Clarkson, Boyz II Men and Diana Ross. There are 14 concerts scheduled to play for Universal’s Mardi Gras concert series. Share in the excitement by catching some beads at the parade and a rocking concert.

Ray Shasho is a freelance writer living in Bradenton, Florida. Shasho was labeled ‘Rock Raymond’ in high school after demonstrating his obsession for rock music. Hes attended hundreds of rock concerts and has rubbed elbows with rocks legends. His work can be found at

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