Top 5 Cities to Visit During Mardi Gras (Besides New Orleans)
Mardi Gras is a magnificent celebration of Carnival that most famously takes place in New Orleans each year. While no one can beat the New Orleans festival, it is not the only city that knows how to throw a Fat Tuesday celebration in a spectacular fashion. Here are five other cities that you should be sure to visit for an incredible Mardi Gras experience.
While New Orleans is known as the ultimate Mardi Gras destination, Mobile is widely recognized as the birthplace of the festival. The city of Mobile puts on authentic parades over the course of two weeks surrounding Fat Tuesday, which allows you plenty of opportunities to observe the tradition. Members of different societies ride on the floats and throw small gifts that are enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
St. Louis, Missouri
According to Budget, “Winters are chilly in St. Louis, but early spring brings the festivities of the largest Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans.” St. Louis knows how to party; with over a month of activities, the celebration is nonstop for weeks. A pet parade, Weiner dog derby, and a Family Winter Carnival are just some of the dozens of activities and events that make St. Louis a city you must visit for Mardi Gras.
San Diego, California
Despite the fact that the city lacks French heritage, San Diego celebrates Mardi Gras as though they do. Unlike some of the other cities on the list that host events over several weeks, San Diego plans all parades and events for Fat Tuesday only. The Gaslight District is the place to be in order to see fire eaters, stilt walkers, and of course traditional parades.
Galveston Island, Texas
This city has the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the state of Texas. Galveston Island hosts many events for the whole family to enjoy. According to Having Fun in the Texas Sun, “It’s really a very family-friendly event, with TONS of fun during the almost non-stop parades and celebrations the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday!” In addition to performances by major musical acts, there are many events, including a special show involving dancers with umbrellas.
Biloxi is the center of an enormous Fat Tuesday celebration along the Mississippi coast. Overall, the city hosts 24 parades and parties, offering something for everyone. Indulge in a slice of King Cake and visit the Mardi Gras Museum to round out your visit.
While it is impossible to beat a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, many cities offer very exciting and family friendly Fat Tuesday events. Visit any of these cities for a unique and authentic Mardi Gras experience.