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10 Best Mardi Gras in the USA

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Mardi Gras is par excellence the oldest and most fiesta in the country. Millions of people move during the first months of the year to the different cities that celebrate this very special holiday for the Americans. The streets of the host cities are painted yellow, purple and green, while hundreds of collars and candies fall from the sky to be atajos by the spectators.

We accompany you to discover which are the best Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States.


10. La Crosse, Wisconsin

The city of La Crosse boasts one of the most family-friendly Mardi Gras in the country. La Crosse is located on the banks of the Missississippi River, in the state of Wisconsin in the northeastern United States of America. Mardi Gras in the city of La Crosse began as a community project that sought to raise funds to financially support Catholic schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the city. Thus, in 1991 it held its first edition of the Mardi Gras celebration.


Despite being a community and family celebration, La Crosse’s Mardi Gras features the same elements as any other Mardi Gras in the United States. The La Crosse Carnival features a Queen and a Rex (King of Carnival) and the characteristic krewes of Mardi Gras. These Krewes or Mardi Gras groupings are made up of the various local Catholic parishes. Both elements, the royal court and the krewes, make the Mardi Gras celebration in La Crosse an incredible family event filled with food, fun and community activities.


La Crosse's Mardi Gras is a community celebration for the city's Catholic organizations

La Crosse’s Mardi Gras is a community celebration for the city’s Catholic organizations


The most important figures of Mardi Gras in La Crosse are not limited to just the carnival celebration, as they are also part of other local community events. The Mardi Gras King and Queen in La Crosse likewise participate in the local Applefest and Oktoberfest.



9. Biloxi, Mississippi

Mardi Gras is celebrated in the city of Biloxi, located in thestate of Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico. The first Mardi Gras parade in the city of Biloxi was held in 1908. 21 years later, the festival began to expand to include other coastal cities. Every year since 1999, Biloxi Mardi Gras integrates a holiday theme. Today today more than 20 parades throughout the Missississippi Coast.


At Biloxi Mardi Gras they throw tons of confetti and giveaways

At Biloxi Mardi Gras they throw tons of confetti and giveaways



Mardi Gras in the city of Biloxi, also known as Missississippi Gulf Coast Mardi Gras, is an exciting season that includes floats decorated with the members of the carnival krewes throwing the characteristic “throws”, which comprise generally inexpensive prizes such as beaded necklaces, plush animals, commemorative doubloons, candy and Moon Pies, marshmallow-filled, chocolate-covered cookies. The city has developed a rather fun theme in which people shout “Throw Me Something Mister” during the parade for the groupings to throw some treasure.




8. Universal Studios Mardi Gras, Florida

Universal Studios is without a doubt the most magical and incredible amusement parkin the country. The park is located in the city of Orlando, Florida in the southeastern United States of America. Universal Studios Mardi Gras originated some 25 years ago with the aim of giving all park visitors an experience similar to Mardi Gras itself. During the Mardi Gras months, everyone who attends, both children and adults, will have the chance to enjoy a host of attractions.

Universal Studio combines Mardi Gras entertainment at the theme park with a host of concerts, live shows and colorful parades. During the celebration, dozens of artists and known bands come to the celebration to entertain the entire audience. In addition, they also offer traditional food from the south of the country. On the premises you will be able to find the French Quarter, food stands, gift shop and live music stage.


Universal Studios Carnival offers a plethora of events and attractions

Universal Studios Carnival offers a plethora of events and attractions


Nighttime is when the whole celebration takes on a special glow, as that’s when all the real magic of Mardi Gras happens. Every night you can enjoy parades with extravagant street performers, costumes and the traditional Mardi Gras “throws”, which consist of collars of beads flying through the air. All of these activities are included in the park’s traditional programming, so you can enjoy both Mardi Gras and conventional park attractions.

Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras is usually a long celebration, as it can extend from January through April.



7. Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles is a city in the southwestern state of Louisiana. Mardi Gras emerged in the city of Lake Charles in the year 1882, these continued continuously until World War I, when the festivities were almost extinct, except for some celebrations in private. Mardi Gras re-emerged in 1964, but had lost the festivities’ characteristic luster. However, in the late 1970s, the city began to incorporate new elements that made the festivities’ popularity catapult again.



Lake Charles City Mardi Gras features particularly family-friendly celebrations, so you can find plenty of playful games, picnic areas and live entertainment. However, it has the elements of the original Mardi Gras. Every year, the krewes of the city take to the streets to parade and show off incredible themed floats. On these floats, each member of the krewes throws a myriad of toys, candy, doubloons and collars. All members of the groups are in costume, in order to maintain the traditions of masks and costumes.


Lake Charles is undoubtedly one of the favorite events for locals, as they can eat, spend family time and watch incredible colorful floats from start to finish. Every year, more than 150,000 people flock to the city to enjoy these unique and enjoyable festivities.

Lake Charles Mardi Gras will run from approximately February 6-16.



6. San Diego, California

The Mardi Gras of the city of San Diego, located in the state of California on the West Coast of the United States of North America, is held in the Gaslamp Quarter, one of the most lively nightlife districts in the entire city. The San Diego Mardi Gras or Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras is an alternative to the traditional Mardi Gras celebration originated in the south of the country. However, it is a somewhat young celebration, having begun in 2005.


San Diego Mardi Gras offers an alternative for people who can’t make it to the states or cities that celebrate traditional Mardi Gras. In this way, it offers a tour for people to eat drink and party. This initiative is known as the Big Easy Bites & Booze Tour. The event consists of a grand tour where you will have the opportunity to eat and drink 40 options, 20 dishes and 20 drinks, inspired by Mardi Gras. In addition, they also hand out the characteristic bead necklaces throughout the tour. Mardi Gras offers you prizes if you collect 10 necklaces. In addition, it also offers an interesting After Party.


San Diego Mardi Gras offers entertainment, food and drink

San Diego Mardi Gras offers entertainment, food and drink



The celebration in the city is a one-day-only celebration and runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by the After Party. The ticket to gain access ranges between 25 and US$30. Some of the venues that are part of this initiative are: American Junkie, Callaway, Dubliner, Gaslamp BBQ, Ike’s Place, Royal India, Spill the Beans, The Field, The Gaslamp Social, Tony’s Pizza and Vybz.

Generally, San Diego Mardi Gras is held the weekend before Shrove Tuesday, so the tentative date of the event would comebetween Friday, Feb. 12-16..



5. St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis or Saint Louis is a city in the state of Missouri, in the east central United States of North America, which has one of the largest Mardi Gras in the country. The city began celebrating Mardi Gras in 1979 thanks to the initiative of some of the city’s young people. The celebration started humbly and without any participation from the residents of St. Louis; however, today, the carnival already has the participation of about 500,000 people.

The neighborhood that most fervently lives Mardi Gras is Soulard, this is considered the epicenter of the celebrations and which has acquired a notable reputation during the festivities. Mardi Gras in the city lasts for several weeks, some neighborhoods even start celebrating it as early as Twelfth Night, which is located in early January. Starting in January, the entire city has a host of events from start to finish. Each of the residents and visitors can be part of family events, food popular meals, lottery games and many other activities.


St. Louis Mardi Gras is a celebration full of parties and parades

St. Louis Mardi Gras is a celebration full of parties and parades



Parades are the main attraction of the festivities. The city boasts a good number of parades, including one by Light Bud (beer company) and a fun dog parade. In addition, there are fantastic themed dances that you can’t miss for the world.

St. Louis Mardi Gras starts from the twelfth night until Mardi Gras Tuesday. The St. Louis Carnival will take place from approximately February 6 to 16.



4. Galveston, Texas

Galveston’s Mardi Gras is considered the third largest in the entire country. Galveston is an island city located in the state of Texas, just off the Gulf of Mexico. The first time that Mardi Gras was celebrated in the city of Galveston was in the year 1867. However, these early carnival demonstrations consisted mainly of masked dances and theatrical performances. It was not until the year 1871 when the first large-scale parades began to emerge, which consisted of the rivalry of two of the main krewes known as Knights of Momus and Knights of Myth.


Galveston's Mardi Gras is one of the best in the entire country

Galveston’s Mardi Gras is one of the best in the entire country



The city’s Mardi Gras celebration is on a grand scale, featuring big events such as concerts live concerts, themed parties, fancy dancing and many other entertaining activities that you won’t want to miss. The main events are the big parades of allegorical floats that take place during the night. All the groups take to the streets to show off their incredible and colorful floats from which they throw all kinds of gifts and sweets.


Like other Mardi Gras parties in the country, the celebration begins during the twelfth night with a few events, however, the last week of celebration is the most colorful and eventful.




3. Mobile, Alabama

Mobile is a city located insouthern Alabama in the southern United States of America. The first formal celebration of Mardi Gras festivities was in 1703, in conjunction with the settlement of French forces in the town. The following century, carnival groups began to emerge, and today they are the ones who perform the Mardi Gras parades and dances.


Mystic Societies or Mystic Societies are the organizations that prevail in the celebration. These are made up of members who must pay a membership fee to be part of the society. However, some of these societies are exclusive, so not everyone can join. The societies are those who make the carrozas that participate in the parade. Generally, these members wear masks to protect their identity. The parade floats feature are of a large size, and feature various colors and unique themes. On these floats, the groups throw small objects such as collars, stuffed animals and sweets.


Mystic Societies hold parades with themed floats

Mystic Societies hold parades with themed floats


Mobile Mardi Gras also offers a variety of events such as live music, entertainment and dancing. In addition, it also offers people fairgrounds for food and spaces where they can have picnics as a family. The whole city is painted yellow, purple and green to celebrate the oldest festival in the city.



Although Mardi Gras features some events as early as January, the celebration doesn’t reach its peak until February, specifically Shrove Tuesday. Mobile’s Mardi Gras is celebrated from approximately January 16 through February 16.




2. Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette celebrates one of the best Mardi Gras parties in the entire country. Mardi Gras has been present in Lafayette since February 13, 1869, so it is recorded in the local dam of that time. The celebration was held in a humble way and was usually carried out with the help of all the local residents. The whole town is transformed into an incredible colorful scenery where purple, green and yellow stand out.


The whole city goes into celebration mode when February arrives. The streets are completely filled with residents eager to party and watch the incredible spectacle that takes place in the streets. Just like other Mardi Gras events around the country, all of Lafayette has for the public a lot of fun environments, such as concerts, food stands, dances and of course, the parades..


Lafayette's Mardi Gras is the second largest in the state

Lafayette’s Mardi Gras is the second largest in the state



As is well known, the parades are carried out by the krewes of the city, these perform large themed floats from which they launch a large amount of doblons, gifts, presents and the collars beads. In addition, Lafayette has the particularity of celebrating the Courir de Mardi Gras. This is a colorful celebration, in which costumed people from the town go around the city looking for ingredients to cook a large popular gumbo. The event is intended to strengthen the bonds of citizens and of course, have fun.

Mardi Gras formally begins on Twelfth Night, which is January 5 and runs through Shrove Tuesday, which ends on Mardi Gras Tuesday..



1. New Orleans, Louisiana

Welcome to the biggest, most colorful and wildest Mardi Gras party in the entire country. New Orleans is located in thestate of Louisiana, right on the Missississippi River. The first time the Mardi Gras was held in the area was in 1699, but it was not until 1730 when it began to be recognized as a popular and public festival. By the year 1830, there began to be the first street processions. Today, New Orleans Mardi Gras is the holiday that sets the holiday standards for the entire country, attracting up to 1.4 million people each year.

The Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans goes on for months leading up to Shrove Tuesday. Since January, the different krewes begin to take to the streets and parade through the streets gradually, becoming more and more intense by Mardi Gras Tuesday. Before the big celebration there are some events such as the Family Gras, which takes place a week before Shrove Tuesday and consists of a big family celebration in which a lot of fun events take place. There is also Lundi Gras, a commemorative event where the monarchs of Mardi Gras of the city are proclaimed.


New Orleans Mardi Gras is a big celebration across the state of Louisiana

New Orleans Mardi Gras is a big celebration across the state of Louisiana



Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday is the best day of the holiday without a doubt. During this day a large number of parades are held in various sectors of the city. On this particular day, the krewes with the biggest trajectory and largest number of members parade. The floats of these krewes are the largest, most colorful and fantastic, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the streets that day. During the parades, these groupings throw a lot of gifts, beaded necklaces, doubloons and sweets. It is undoubtedly the most special day of the whole festival.

The city of New Orleans has a different kind of “throw”. During the holidays, people can find a Coco, also known as a Zulu Coconut or Mardi Gras Coconut. It is a coconut or ball decorated with patterns, designs or faces, which is highly coveted and only a lucky few have had the joy of catching one of these.

Like many Mardi Gras traditions across the country, the festivities begin on Twelfth Night through Shrove Tuesday. However, the city of New Orleans begins celebrating earlier, kicking off the festivities with sporadic krew parades. Mardi Gras in the city of New Orleans begins on Wednesday, January 2 through Shrove Tuesday; that is, February 16.