When it comes to parades, there is no better city in Texas more qualified to throw a street party including colorful floats, beautiful costumes and performers, and tens of thousands of smiles a minute than historical Galveston.
While San Antonio is unmistakably the crown jewel of parade cities in the Lone Star State because of its annual Fiesta Flambeau and Battle of Flowers Night Parade with the coming of spring, Galveston gets the reward for the most number of parades in a year. And that is especially true each year just before the beginning of Lent, when no less than 22 parades take to the streets of The Strand area in Galveston to pay homage to the largest Mardi Gras celebration west of New Orleans. In fact, Galveston's Mardi Gras on the Island is the nation's third largest Mardi Gras.
It gets underway Jan 29-Feb 9 and, as noted in the Island's resume, and "offers the unique chance to experience sand between your toes and gorgeous beach sunsets while taking in the revelry and lavish parades known to dominate Galveston Island during carnival season."
More than 300,000 are expected during Mardis Gras this year. The entertainment calendar is chocked full of concerts and special events. Over 30 concerts have already been set in addition to performers and bands playing during the hear two dozen parades.
This year the "in thing to do" is to attend a Balcony Party where you get the best view of the parade below and still have the bar and the dance floor just steps away. Space is limited of course and tickets are selling fast, but many more are being offered as giveaways. (http://www.mardigrasgalveston.com)
The downtown district of Galveston is renowned for it architecture and design of its turn-of-the century look and feel. In trust, almost all of the building were constructed after the devastating hurricane that nearly wiped out the city in 1906.
But the buildings, the history and even the mystery of Galveston lure visitors back time and again like an empty swing beckons to the nearest child to come and play in the sunlight. The City was a leading pioneering port to entry into the New World, a story rich and colorful as immigrants from around the world entered the gateway in search of independence and free land, to opportunity and fortune. There were settlers, land grabbers, opportunists and scabs, later called surplus population. Businessmen and investors arrived by the boat load and commerce flowed steadily in and out of port to destination far and wide.
Along with it came all that accompanies a major port town like jobs and commerce, an growing upper class and soon the construction of elaborate Victorian homes and mansions. Through much its early history Galveston represented the last stop for the pleasures of society, the balls and festivals and gay parades and street parties.
A little over a century after the first 'official Mardis Gras" was staged publicly on the Island, the event has continued to grow and attracts thousands more every year, many who have come because it was easier to participate in the events and parades and costuming; some complaining Mardis Gras in New Orleans had grown too large.
For whatever the reason, more and more are coming. Families, couples, singles, singles and more,,,Carnival in Galveston is a party that keeps breaking its on records.
Below is the latest parade schedule. Remember that lodging is a premium this time of year so book early, and we advise you to grab your Balcony Tickets if any remain and get ready for the party of the year - Texas style! Party own revelers.
Jan 29 5:30pm George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award Presentation
Jan 29 7pm George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award Parade
Jan 29 8pm Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade Parade
Jan 29 10pm Krewe da Yaga’s Parade
Jan 30 11am Official Mardi Gras! Galveston 5K
Jan 30 12pm Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Kick-Off Parade
Jan 30 1pm 5th Annual Zaniest Golf Cart Parade
Jan 30 3pm Krewe D'iHeartMedia Parade
Jan 30 6pm Krewe of Gambrinus Parade
Jan 31 1pm Sunshine Kids Parade
Jan 31 3pm Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston Parade
Date Time Event
Feb 5 7pm Danny Weber Memorial Fire Truck Parade
Feb 5 8pm Krewe Babalu 11th Annual All Krewe Parade
Feb 5 9:30pm Krewe of Maximilian Parade
Feb 6 9am Krewe d' Esprit Rosaire Battle of the Bands
Feb 6 11am Krewe d’Esprit Rosaire Parade
Feb 6 1pm Z Krewe 22nd Z Processional
Feb 6 2:30pm Houston Chronicle Neauxs Krewe Parade
Feb 6 3pm Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Party
Feb 6 3:30pm Les Bon Temps Roule Parade
Feb 6 6pm A&M Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Party
Feb 6 6:30pm Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade
Feb 7 1pm Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade
Feb 7 2pm Mardi Gras Children’s Parade
Feb 9 6:30pm Mystic Krewe of Aquarius 20th Annual Fat Tuesday