I have to say I’m a little biased since the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S. is basically in my backyard. But where else can you join over 300,000 revelers partying on an island filled with history, beauty and Texas hospitality?
Like everything in Texas, Galveston does Mardi Gras big with two full weekends of celebration including 22 parades, over 30 concerts, balcony parties on the historic strand, masked balls and so much more. This 105th celebration of Mardi Gras in Galveston was one to remember.
Mardi Gras Galveston is unique in that you can do it up as wild as you want or it can be a low key, family event. It’s all about how you want to experience the celebration. The locals love the Seawall parades on the first Saturday, setting up day camps with grills, chairs and campers to watch the parades and hang out with family and friends all day with the ocean in the background. Nothing like a cold beer and some Texas BBQ while watching a parade of high school marching bands and dogs in costumes.
Later at night the downtown historic Strand District (main Mardi Gras area) heats up with more parades, concerts and debauchery. With the streets blocked off The Strand turns into an all out rager! Thousands of people bump shoulders, catching beads thrown from the balconies, downing copious amounts of alcohol and jamming to live music on two stages. This year featured loads of great local Texas bands and a few stars such as Candyland, Corey Morrow and Collective Soul. I was launched back into my 90’s childhood rocking out to “Spit Me Out!”
The second weekend is loaded with more parades, parties and music and culminates with the extravagant Momus Grand Night Parade Saturday night. Mardi Gras finishes with an all krewe Fat Tuesday parade where you’re sure to go home with more beads than you can carry. Fat Tuesday is many locals’ and my personal favorite part of Mardi Gras. It embodies the true meaning of the celebration. One last hoorah before 40 days of lent.
This year I had the privilege of experiencing this massive event from behind the scenes. After returning home to Texas from a month in Costa Rica and being laid off from my job, I needed some cash. I was lucky enough to receive an offer to help run one of the balcony parties. It was no small undertaking. I clocked more than 50 hours the first weekend and over 40 the second! Busting my ass moving dozens of cases of beer and literally tons of beads really sent my blood sugar for a whirlwind. I hadnt worked on my feet for that long since my diagnosis. I worked grueling 16 hour shifts on Fridays and Saturdays! I had a few hypo episodes the first weekend, learned my lesson and halved my basal for the second weekend. It was great to feel competent at manual labor again and I always get a kick out of being involved and doing my part in a large event that provides a good time for so many people.
If you have always wanted to experience Mardi Gras, Galveston is an excellent place to do it. Its a little more low key than New Orleans and a bit cheaper but still teaming with culture and the Mardi Gras spirit! For more info visit mardigrasgalveston.com or shoot me a message on my contact page, I’d love to tell you more about it!
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