Mardi Gras at the Beach

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Mardi Gras at the Beach?

Largest Mardi Gras Celebration in U.S. Offers Beachfront Revelry on the Texas Coast

Okies don’t have to travel all the way to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. If you’re looking for a unique Mardi Gras experience in 2014, grab some beads and hit the beach.

Mardi Gras! Galveston, the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, 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.

The island’s 103rd Mardi Gras is expected to draw more than 300,000 attendees for 38 concerts, 24 parades, 20 balcony parties and five elegant masked balls.
And, this island-style Mardi Gras has plenty of personality. Find your Mardi Gras style with these Mardi Gras celebrations, to be held February 21 through March 4, 2014:

• Classic Revelry – Galveston’s historic downtown entertainment district will put you in the center of classic Mardi Gras revelry complete with big crowds and plenty of beads. Nearly all parades go through downtown, where you can enjoy the view from the street or from high above at a balcony party. Main concert stages are also located downtown, where the likes of Hot Chelle Rae, Neon Trees, Tonic and Lee Brice have headlined in recent years.

• Upscale Mardi Gras – If you’re looking to catch any of the colorful beads to be thrown from parade floats and downtown balconies, you don’t have to stand in the streets to do it. Mardi Gras! Galveston’s elegant side will feature five masked balls where black-tie attire, lavish buffets, live performers, dancing and parade viewing invoke the evening festivities. Popular events include the Tremont House’s annual Mardi Gras Ball & Parade Viewing Party and the San Luis Salute hosted by Tilman and Paige Fertitta.

• Family Gras – Sunday, February 23 is Family Gras at Mardi Gras! Galveston, featuring live family entertainment, two kids parades, a kids coloring contest and the Jr. Jester Jaunt 1K run/walk. Donations will be taken at the gate to benefit The Sunshine Kids and Shriners Hospitals for Children. The family friendly activities will continue Sunday, March 2 with the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux pet parade and Mardi Gras Children’s Parade on the Seawall.

• Electric Mardi Gras – Electric Mardi Gras will return in 2014 for lovers of electronic dance music, with continuous concerts, beat-thumping DJs and laser light shows on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the celebration.

For more information on Mardi Gras! Galveston visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com.

Mardi Gras, the traditional festival of feasting and merrymaking that precedes the season of Lent, was first publicly observed on Galveston Island in 1867. Following a sabbatical imposed in 1941 by war and challenging times, Mardi Gras! Galveston was revived in 1985 by Galveston-born preservationist and developer George P. Mitchell.

The largest celebration of its kind in Texas and the third largest in the nation, Mardi Gras! Galveston brings the island’s streets to life with parade viewers shouting for beads, lively tunes played by the colorful marching bands, and the infectious merriment that dominates the island for two full weeks.

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