Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll)!
If you want to see the Zulu King, but want to avoid Super Bowl crowds in New Orleans, grab your Mardi Gras masks and head to Galveston. Held from February 1-12, Mardi Gras! Galveston is the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, attracting more than 300,000 attendees annually. The two-week celebration is best known for its lavish parades held on the streets of the city’s historic downtown and beachfront.
The 2013 event is scheduled to be the biggest Mardi Gras! Galveston celebration yet, with 26 parades and dozens of concerts, balcony parties, DJ laser shows, masked balls and more. Most parades will be held in Galveston’s downtown Mardi Gras entertainment district, while others will travel along the beachfront on Seawall Boulevard.
For a complete listing of Mardi Gras! parades and activities, visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com.
In addition to the annual “Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade,” for which Mardi Gras! Galveston organizers earned a world record for the largest choreographed umbrella dance last year, revelers will also be abuzz about these exciting events in 2013:
- Cruise Krewe on the Carnival Triumph – This special cruise package will include a full day of Mardi Gras fun in Galveston, including a ride on a parade float on Sunday, February 10, followed by a five-night cruise on the Carnival Triumph. The cruise will depart from the Port of Galveston with special Mardi Gras festivities and concerts on the ship throughout the trip. For details, visit www.cruisekrewe.com.
- Jagermeister Dubstep DJ Stage and Laser Show – The Jagermeiseter DJ stage will return in 2013 with an expanded lineup of local and national DJs for four nights during Mardi Gras! Galveston. In addition to top DJs, this stage will feature a spectacular laser light show to make this the dance party of the year.
- Family Gras – Sunday, February 3, is Family Gras at Mardi Gras! Galveston, featuring the annual Sunshine Kids Parade, Shriners Hospitals for Children Parade, a beachfront carnival, and more. On this day, the Entertainment District will be free to the public for a Family Gras celebration sponsored by Moody National Bank. Donations will be taken at the gate to benefit the Sunshine Kids and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
- On Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 from 4p.m. to midnight during the 2nd weekend of Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration, Mitchell Historic Properties will present “Boots on the Beach,” a country music festival featuring performances by legendary songwriters Jerry Jeff Walker and Joe Ely as well as heavy hitters Jesse Dayton, Paula Nelson, and local favorites Sam Navarro and the Lone Star Devils.
- On Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 beginning at 6 p.m., The Tremont House will host the 29th Annual Mardi Gras Ball and Parade Viewing Party. Legendary country band Asleep at the Wheel, with infamous frontman Ray Benson, will be performing for the hotel’s “Waltz Across Texas”—themed celebration.
About Mardi Gras! Galveston
Mardi Gras, the traditional festival of feasting and merrymaking that precedes the season of Lent, was first publicly observed on Galveston Island in 1867. Following a sabbatical imposed in 1941 by war and challenging times, Mardi Gras! Galveston was revived in 1985 by Galveston-born preservationist and developer George P. Mitchell. The largest celebration of its kind in Texas and the third largest in the nation, Mardi Gras! Galveston brings the island’s streets to life with parade viewers shouting for beads, lively tunes played by colorful marching bands, and the infectious merriment that dominates the island for two full weeks. For more information on Mardi Gras! Galveston visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com.