Endymion's SAMEDI GRAS (Fat Saturday) has been called by some the world’s largest block party. The captain and riding celebrities arrive around 3 p.m. with the parade rolling at 4:15 p.m.

Take part in a unique gay Carnival bal masque celebrating "300 Years of Fabulous." The KREWE OF ARMEINIUS' 50TH BALL cranks up at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place. VIP party at 6 p.m. $20 and up. armeinius.org.

Head down to Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive, New Orleans, for the BACCHUS BASH, a free block party in anticipation of the arrival of the parade Sunday evening. The fun runs from noon to midnight, with food, beverages and music. VIP tickets include access to grandstand, private rooms and open bar. themetronola.com.

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