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Jim Winsor’s Out & About: Gearing up for Hillcrest Fat Tuesday street festival

Mardi Gras is this Tuesday! And as in years past, Hillcrest will be the site of a massive street festival, promised to be the largest LGBT Mardi Gras celebration west of New Orleans.

If you’re worried about this year’s event being anything like last year’s lackluster effort by promoter Bill Hardt, which was plagued by low attendance, a dearth of creative imagination and a 50% drop in revenue, well worry no longer. This year, the event is back in the capable hands of the organization that has produced it prior to 2013, and several other changes are coming as well.

Not only will Hillcrest Mardi Gras have a new name - Hillcrest Fat Tuesday - but it also will be at a new location, moving east to the 1000 block of University Avenue between Vermont and 10th Avenue. On top of that, for the first time ever, the event will be kicked off by a colorful bead-throwing masquerade parade, which will begin at Herbert Street and make its way west to the main area. This expanded footprint means that many popular Hillcrest bars and clubs such as Flicks, Rich’s, the new Gossip Grill, Uptown Tavern, Baja Betty’s and Hillcrest Brewing Company will all be in or near the action.

As for entertainment, Tootie and Paris Sukomi Max will be hosting the Main Stage, while on the huge dance stage will beDJ Nikno, DJ Taj, and the ever-popular DJ John Joseph.

General admission tickets are $20 and $30 the day of, and include entry into Fat Tuesday, beads, glow sticks and access to gourmet food vendors, the Fat Tuesday lounge and 2 bars. VIP passes are $50 and $75 the day, of and include access to a private VIP area raised above the main dance floor for an exclusive look at the party, a private bar, exclusive VIP performers, and perhaps best of all, complementary food from several gourmet food vendors. For a $5 discount, use code SDPIXMG14 at checkout.

Montage Reunion at Spin

It’s time for another Montage Reunion! This Saturday, Michael Mack is bringing in a crowd favorite of many here in San Diego, DJ Paulo. DJ Chris Braga will open for him.

And don’t forget: this is Spin, so, be prepared for some wild after-hour action until 4 am.

The new Gossip Grill is open

Good news: Gossip Grill managed to resolve a liquor license issue I told you about a couple weeks ago, and as of last Friday is now fully open for business. In addition, they have a whole new lineup of regular weekly events specially designed for the new establishment:

Monday: Dine in Movie Mondays

Tuesday: Shuffle 'n Repeat Tuesdays

Wednesday: Hump Day

Thursday: Male Box Boys Night

Friday: Finger Me Fridays

Saturday: Spin Spin Sugar Saturdays

Sunday: S Word Sundays

Oscar Night in the gayborhood

This Sunday is the Oscars, and for all you film fanatics, a few places around Hillcrest will be hosting special Oscar viewing parties:

3 pm: SDGMC Red Carpet Party at Flicks

4 pm: Oscar Viewing Party at Uptown Tavern

4:30 pm: AIDS/LifeCycle - Team San Diego Night at The Oscars at Gossip Grill

Other fun stuff this week

Thursday, Feb. 27

8 pm: Neo Soul Night at #1 Fifth Avenue

10 pm: WET Mardi Gras Edition at Bourbon Street

Friday, Feb. 28

9 pm: Pre-Mardi Gras Weekend at Bourbon Street

Saturday, March 1

10 am to 2 pm: Mexican Brunch at Baja Betty's

8-9:30 pm: Kickers Country Western Line Dancing at Urban Mo's

9 pm: Pre-Mardi Gras Weekend at Bourbon Street

Sunday, March 2

11 am to 3 pm: Gospel Brunch at Lips

3-8 pm: Church at Babycakes

9 pm: Booty and the Beads Soiree Mardi Gras Edition at Bourbon Street

Monday, March 3

6-11 pm: 50₵ Wing Night at Hillcrest Brewing Company

Tuesday, March 4 (Mardi Gras)

9 pm: Official Mardi Gras After Party at the Brass Rail

10 pm: Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Party at Bourbon Street

Wednesday, March 5

10 pm: Mischief at Rich's

Last week’s events

Check out SDPIX.com for all the new albums from last week, including photos from L.L. Bear at Rich’s, Wet at Bourbon Street, the FilmOut Marilyn Monroe Marathon, and Church at Babycakes. Happy viewing!