Mardi Gras in the Holy City

The FollyGras parade on Center Street is Folly Beach’s annual Mardi Gras tradition.

Charleston may not be as well known for its Mardi Gras madness as another certain city in the South, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave town to find a good time this week. Here’s where the locals will be letting loose, Big Easy-style.

Saturday: During Folly Beach’s annual FollyGras Festival & Parade, Center Street is the closest the Lowcountry comes to New Orleans’ Canal Street. The main strip is closed to traffic at 9:30 a.m. for the parade at noon, which is followed by an all-day street festival with kids’ activities, local food and art vendors and live music by local bands, including Gaslight Street, Soul Fish, Jordan Igoe and the Shakin’ Martinis. For more information, check out the Facebook event at

Tuesday: Fat Tuesday is the biggest celebration of the year for Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge in West Ashley’s Avondale District at 15 Magnolia St. Local jazz drummer Quintin Baxter will lead a group to kick off the evening with traditional New Orleans-style jazz starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a high-energy soul, funk and R&B performance led by singer Quiana Parler at 8:30 p.m. There will be New Orleans-themed cocktails such as Hurricanes, food specials, costumes and plenty of beads to be thrown around. For more information, check out the Facebook event at

Super Bowl parties

Whether you support the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos, you have to admit it’s going to make the 50th Super Bowl pretty interesting for us Carolina-dwellers. Watch the team take on the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium — or go for the snacks and funny commercials —at these local parties on Sunday.

The Rusty Rudder: This Mount Pleasant restaurant at 3653 U.S. Highway 17 is hosting an all-inclusive party with food, domestic beer, house wine and house liquor for $50 per person. Start the party early with live music by the Larry David Project from 4-6 p.m.

Bay Street Biergarten: The large taproom at 549 East Bay St. will have specials on chicken wings, bratwursts and beer for its free party from 3-11 p.m. There also will be a beer pong tournament and a free wing-eating contest. Champions of both will have a shot at cash prizes.

The Alley: The downtown bowling alley/sports bar at 131 Columbus St. will have a Super Bowl-themed menu, as well as $4 craft beers and $12 buckets of Bud Light during its free viewing party for the game, which starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Year of the Monkey

Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen, a popular restaurant with traditional Chinese fare, will celebrate the Chinese New Year, i.e., the Year of the Monkey, this weekend with a special dining experience. The menu will include several authentic dishes traditionally served on New Year’s Eve, which symbolize “good health, strong families and prosperity in the New Year,” according to an announcement. For instance, the xi xian cai, meaning “10 fragrant vegetables” symbolizes “a perfect life” and includes bamboo shoots, pickled ginger, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, pickled cucumber and soy bean sprouts. The recipe has been in co-owner Lily Lei’s family for several generations. During the celebration, there will be a traditional Lion Dance, which is performed by dancers dressed in one elaborate lion costume. The drink menu will include a special Chinese liquor, Baijiu, created for the festivities by the local Striped Pig Distillery. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.

When: 5-10 p.m. Monday

Where: 218 President St.

Price: Menu prices vary

More info: 843-822-5337

For the well-groomed

The Isle of Palms Recreation Department is hosting the 10th annual Doggie Day, a sort of beauty pageant for local pups. Owners can enter their four-legged friends of all sizes and breeds in several categories through Saturday morning, space permitting. Up to 15 entries will be accepted for the following categories: cutest puppy (younger than one year), most attractive adult dog, most “Ear’Resistible” ears, best eyes, best smile, best costume and best female and male rescue dogs. Prizes will be awarded to winners of each category. The event also is a chance to get up-to-date rabies vaccinations on-site for $10 and Isle of Palms dog licenses, which are required of all dogs living on the island, for $5 each. Local dog organizations will provide information regarding vet care, pet adoptions, boarding, and more.

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: No. 24 28th Ave., Isle of Palms

Price: Free to participate and attend

More info: