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I’d rather be in Rio

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Sip your Bourbon and dream of girls and Ipanema …

Someone get Oscar Goodman on the phone: other cities are out-partying Vegas this week.

If you were in Rio, a parade of skinbaring, sparkling, feathery, smiling women would have just samba danced on by. In New Orleans, the booze and beads and bared breasts are easy to find. From Italy to Spain to the Caribbean, the world is in full Fat Tuesday swing right now, reveling in pure Bacchanalian debauchery, while us Las Vegans sit in our cubicles.

But Zatarain’s, a New Orleans food company, is trying to change this sad state of sobriety by petitioning Congress to make Mardi Gras a national holiday. You can go to Motionformardigras.com to sign the petition (it's as easy as typing in your name) and we’ll all be that much closer to joining the worldwide pre-Lent party. They are only at 12% of their goal, so hurry if you want to make it an official celebration before next year.

You can also make the best of a bad situation and hit the few Mardi Gras-themed events around town. Lavo will bust out the live samba dancers and Cachaca open bar, while three live bands spice up Fremont Street. Don a mask, get your hands on some King Cake and a Hurricane, and start your own damn parade.

Monday, Feb. 23

Mardi Gras Rock Band Tournament at Mist

We're not quite sure how strong the connection is between Rock Band and Mardi Gras, and we're thinking the only difference might be some beads hanging from the microphone, but there are free Hurricane drinks all night and winners can get $250 in Light Group gift certificates.

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Carnaval 2009 at Lavo

Enjoy a Cachaca open bar from 11 p.m. until midnight and live samba dancers.

Karaoke Fat Tuesday at McFadden's at the Rio

An open bar from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. will provide you with the liquid courage to sing karaoke and to get those beads by any means possible: The lady who gets the most wins a cash prize.

Fremont Street Experience celebrates Mardi Gras

Enjoy free, live music from the David Poe Mardi Gras Band, a five-piece Cajun band that plays folk and up-tempo zydeco music with an emphasis on the accordion and the washboards, The Pappion Louisiana Band, a traditional Cajun/zydeco band that specializes in creole music, adding a saxophone and harmonica to the usual accordion, rubboard, fiddle guitar and drums and The Bob Sachs Dixieland Trio, a jazz band.

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Jennifer Grafiada

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