While most European countries, particularly France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK, have wonderful festivities surrounding Mardi Gras, it is the USA that remains known for lending an unparalleled magnitude to the celebrations. From colourful parades and floats to foot-thumping music and sumptuous food, Mardi Gras is the time for indulgence in the USA. Below are the places that remain best-known for their Mardi Gras celebrations:
The most bustling Mardi Gras celebrations in the USA remain to the credit of New Orleans. The festival parades in the city are a huge deal and organised by social clubs called krewes. Some of the best parades in the city are organised by the Mistick Krewe of Comus, the earliest, Rex, the Knights of Momus and the Krewe of Proteus as well as the Krewe of Endymion. Several celebrities have also been spotted during New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations. Watch for festival throws that are sent flying into the crowds by float riders. These include colourful plastic beads, doubloons, and plastic toys amongst others.
Galveston in Texas is home to the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the state. One of the most charming facts about celebrating Mardi Gras in Galveston is that you get to party right on the beach, soaking in the glorious sunsets and the vibrant atmosphere created by parade revellers. The island of Galveston has been celebrating Mardi Gras for 107 years and in 2019, the 108th year will feature 29 live concerts, 23 parades, 22 balcony parties and several other elegant balls.
The Soulard neighbourhood of St Louis is known for hosting the 2nd largest Mardi Gras parade in the USA after New Orleans. The Bud Light Grand Parade, beginning at the Busch Stadium, is the most vibrant parade in the area. Following the theme of “40 Years of Magic, Music, and Memories”, around 100 floats will be out on the streets, with krewes expected to throw as many as 10,000,000 strands of beads to the crowds.
If you are travelling with your family, the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Parades are your best bet. Mystic Krewe of Mutts, Krewe of Spanish Town Parade, Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Festival, Krewe of Southdowns and Mid City Gras are some of the most popular parades to attend. Expect to see stunning floats, marching bands, costumed animals and people in masks out on the streets and having a good time. Do check out the restaurants and cafes for Mardi Gras special bread pudding, martinis, cake balls, cupcakes, popsicles, ice cream and donuts.
Lake Charles has great plans in place for Mardi Gras 2019. As many as 15 colourful and elaborate floats will roam the streets, helmed by fancily-clad float riders and animals. Do not miss the quirky costumes of volunteers and participants; the average weight of a Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras costume is a whopping 50 pounds. Watch out for Merchants Parade, Children’s Parade and Krewe of Krewes Parade.