Fat Tuesday falls on February 17 this year which means you can celebrate Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day in the same weekend. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Given that most parties are the weekend before Fat Tuesday, you’ve got about one month left to finalize your plans. If you’re interested in something more than a few unimpressive drink specials at your local hangout, check out these Mardi Gras celebrations that pack a big punch (not literally, of course).
New Orleans, Louisiana – This is a no brainer. If you’re looking for the ultimate Mardi Gras extravaganza, New Orleans is the place to be. But note, lodging fills up fast so if you haven’t acted yet, time is ticking. Many of the parade routes are outside of the French Quarter – a good thing if you aren’t interested in the ‘women bare all’ environment. New Orleans strives to keep Mardi Gras traditions and culture alive, which is why it is the go-to destination for many.
St. Louis, Missouri –St. Louis is said to be the second largest Mardi Gras event in the United States (behind New Orleans) drawing crowds upwards of 200,000 people. You can enjoy a family carnival, a Cajun cook-off, a 5K run, a wiener dog derby, the Mayor’s ball, and more. The Bud Light Grand Parade on February 14 is the Midwest’s largest pre-Lenten celebration. Stick around for the post-parade party on the streets of Soulard.
Galveston, Texas – Everything is bigger in Texas, and Mardi Gras is no exception. Galveston holds the state’s largest celebration. Fun fact: more than three million beads are thrown! Balcony parties seem to be all the rage – VIP views of parades, Entertainment District admission, and access to a cash bar and music…sign me up! If you are looking for something a bit calmer to enjoy with your kids, there are plenty of family activities you can enjoy. Does it get any better than Mardi Gras on the beach?!
Orlando, Florida – If you are seeking a family-oriented Mardi Gras experience, Universal Studios has you covered. There are 16 live concerts this year including Jessie J, Styx, The All-American Rejects, and The Band Perry. Children can catch beads and enjoy the parade in their own private viewing area. Cajun cuisine and blues music can be found in the French Quarter Courtyard. The best thing about Mardi Gras at Universal Studios? The party continues until mid-April!
Before joining the C&A Industries team, Brooke Koehler lived and worked in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. She relocated to Omaha, NE and began working as Marketing Coordinator for C&A Industries, Inc. in January 2014. She holds a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Northwest Missouri State University. In her free time, Brooke enjoys outdoor activities, traveling and road-tripping, attending concerts, and spending time with friends and family.