Mardi Gras: A time for beads and costumed revelry, spicy food and heady drink, making friends with strangers, and, sometimes, removing your pants in the street. Carnival season is also one of music, and this time of year in New Orleans more dance parties per capita, whether spontaneous or prefab, are popping up around the muggy city. In New Mexico, the Weekly Alibi's Group Hug intends to aid desert citizens in celebrating from afar. On Saturday, March 5, we're hosting a Mardi Gras Dance Party at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) where revelers can enjoy the gypsy swing of Le Chat Lunatique and the groovy reggae of Mondo Vibrations—with choice cuts of Crescent City soul (from the record collection of yours truly) in between. The party also toutes free food from Pepper's Ole Fashion BBQ and a king cake from Swiss Alps Bakery. And there will be a photo booth, courtesy of Photo Booth Rentals of New Mexico, so you can document les bon temps (translation: that time you took off your pants in front of an evangelical protester on Bourbon Street after getting a “car wash” from a guy dressed like a gladiator). Costumes are welcome and encouraged, and the Alibi will provide props and masks as well. All of this for only $5 admission to those over 21. Doors open at 8 p.m. RSVP on Facebook here. Come dance with us!