The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Mardi Gras Kickoff Celebrations

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Mardi Gras @ Galveston Island Friday, February 6 through Tuesday, February 17 20 to 25and Harborside to Mechanic

Galveston's annual Mardi Gras celebration running through Fat Tuesday (February 17) -- kicks off this Friday. Head to the downtown historic district for an all out street festival featuring balcony parties, awesome food and drink stands, live music, beads, booze, and more! Tickets are required for entrance. See mardigrasgalveston.com for details.

Houston Creole Heritage Festival & Parade @ Discovery Green Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1500 McKinney

Celebrate Creole culture with incredible eats, drinks, live music, and a Mardi Gras parade through downtown at the Houston Creole Heritage Festival. The parade ends at Discovery Green, which is also where the party starts! Expect plenty of Creole-style food and drink vendors, zydeco bands, games, and arts and crafts for the kids.

Annual H-Town Chili Throwdown & Whisky Drankin' @ Onion Creek Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. 3106 White Oak

Not only is Onion Creek hosting its 6th annual chili cook-off, but it is also hosting an extra special whiskey cocktail competition. Come watch as your favorite cocktail masters -- including bartenders from Liberty Station, Coppa Osteria, and Beaver's, to name a few -- throw down some seriously good whiskey dranks. A $20 ticket will get you a T-shirt, plenty of good chili, the chance to vote, free swag, and live music.

Best of Houston Chocolate Tour @ Central Market (starting point) Sunday, 11 a.m. 3815 Westheimer

Chocolate lovers unite! Rebecca Mason of Fluff Bake Bar will be guiding guests through a magical Sweets Tour through some of her favorite sweet themed bakeries and restaurants. Guests will enjoy a series of sweet and savory chocolate inspired dishes and trendy desserts, as well as wine or champagne pairings with chocolate. Tours are $180 per person, which includes tastings at each stop.

Cochon 555 @ JW Marriot Downtown Sunday, 5 p.m. (4 p.m. for VIP ticket holders) 806 Main

This one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition is definitely a can't miss event. Watch as five top local chefs -- among them Erin Smith, Ronnie Killen, and Brandi Key -- compete for top honors using a whole locally-raised, heritage breed pig. The chefs will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. Tickets start at $125 and include admission and a taste of more than 30 nose-to-tail dishes paired with wines, brews and spirits.

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