Mardi Gras bikesWe hope you’re rested, Oak Cliff. This weekend in the ‘hood is like St. Paddy’s in Chicago. It’s like New Year’s Eve in Times Square. It’s like SXSW in Austin. It’s like … it’s like … Mardi Gras in Oak Cliff. It is huge for our little neighborhood. The parade last year drew an estimated 10,000 people. It’s a real fun time.

Here’s the scoop on the big Fat Tuesday weekend.

Dash for the Beads starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kidd Springs Park. We hear the new route is very hilly, so if you’re a serious runner, please take that as a challenge and register for $35. Proceeds go to Fido Oak Cliff, and there is beer from Rahr Brewery at the end.

The Mardi Gras masquerade ball is Saturday night at the Kessler Theater. The tickets cost $50, which includes food, plus music from the Matt Tolentino Band, Club Wood and the Inner City All Stars.

And then the big mamma jamma, the Oak Cliff Mardi Gras parade and crawfish boil, starts at 4 p.m. Sunday. Bleacher seating for the parade, a new feature this year, costs $20.

The beer garden opens in Bishop Arts at 1 p.m. Beer costs $5, and food, including crawfish, muffalettas, jambalaya and gumbo, will be available for purchase for around $5-$10.