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Spring is surely on its way. You know how we know? Not only did Mr Punxsutawney Phil predict an early spring on Groundhog Day, but Mardi Gras, the last big party of winter, is right around the corner! Here at Travall, we like to think of Mardi Gras as a welcome home party to Spring, sunshine, and everything good that warm weather brings! So this year we wanted to make sure everyone can find a place to celebrate Mardi Gras.
Nothing against New Orleans – the French who floated all the way down the Mississippi were right to settle there, because let’s face it, there is no place like N’awlins! But we are aware that the US is a huge place and getting there for the biggest celebration of this Christian holy day can be hard for those of us who live far away.
So, with that in mind, we wanted to shine some light on a few other places in the US that are just as road trip worthy for Mardi Gras as New Orleans. They may not have all the fame for it, but you can at least get yourself a Hurricane, catch some beads, and hopefully some sunshine!
Float on up the Mississippi, and you’ll eventually run into the Gateway Arch, home to St. Louisans. Also home to Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis knows how to throw a Mardi Gras party, attracting more than 200,000 people each year. They even have family-friendly Mardi Gras events that start as far back as January! However, we recommend making a road trip for the main celebrations – Fat Tuesday Bud Light Grande Parade.
Make your way to the downtown area of Soulard bright and early if you want to catch a glimpse of the parade, before taking to the streets and finding yourself a traditional Hurricane and some delicious Cajun food. Be sure to check the agenda before you go – depending on the weather you might want to buy a tent ticket rather than be stuck on the cold streets all day. Or, save your money and hide out in either Molly’s or McGurk’s. Whatever you do, you’ll have a great time.
If you’re in for a long road trip, head way down south to Galveston, Texas to participate in Texas’s biggest Mardi Gras celebration. Parades down here start on February 22nd, throwing out over 400,000 beads from 27 parades by March 2nd! They have a variety of entertainment throughout the period – from live music, DJ’s, a 5K race, Tents, family events, and of course tons of Cajun food with a Texan twist! The best part? You’re most likely going to get some nice weather!
If you’re on the west coast, San Diego should be the place you’re heading for a Mardi Gras road trip. On Fat Tuesday, the Gaslamp Quarter downtown shuts down, and the celebrations begin. In the heart of the city, you’ll find a carnival party like never before – an epic night of dancing, music, Cajun food, and entertainment!
Sitting so close to Louisiana, its no wonder Pensacola has made the list. Mardi Gras kicks off in January down here with a parade and A COMMUNAL KING CAKE! How awesome is that?? You can find a mix of everything in Pensacola, from Black Tie events, contests, to the traditional carnival parade, and lots and lots of king cake events! Drive on down for Fat Tuesday and appreciate how the white sands of Pensacola Beach are the perfect backdrop for the purple, green and gold of Mardi Gras – a colorful cast of characters stages parades and parties islandwide!
It is believed that Mobile is the birthplace of the US Mardi Gras Parade, back in 1703, so they obviously are going to throw one of the best Mardi Gras Parties in the country! Mobile has plenty of family-friendly events, and the parade itself is very family friendly. Today, nearly 4 dozen parades are put on in celebration of Fat Tuesday, in a span of 2 weeks! If you want an authentic and diverse Mardi Gras, head to Mobile. You’ll find a combination of different religions celebrating this day in harmony!
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