Ultimate Guide to Experience Mardi Gras! Galveston

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler, or "let the good times roll" at Mardi Gras! Galveston.

Did you know Mardi Gras! Galveston is the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country? From parades and beads galore, to live music and balcony parties - we're here to answer all of your questions about this year's event!

attendees at the Mardi Gras Festival in Galveston

Mardi Gras! Galveston FAQs

When is Mardi Gras! Galveston?

Mardi Gras! Galveston is held annually during the two weeks preceding Lent. The 2023 celebration will take place from February 10 to February 21, 2023, with festivities held on both weekends and Fat Tuesday.

Where do Mardi Gras! Galveston festivities take place?

The bulk of Mardi Gras festivities takes place in Galveston’s historic downtown in the Mardi Gras Entertainment District, with activities running in the area bordered by 20th to 25th Streets and Harborside Drive to Mechanic Street. Many parades and events also take place along the beachfront on Seawall Boulevard between 25th Street and 57th Street.

Is there a cost to attend Mardi Gras! Galveston?

There is a gate fee for attendees to enter the Mardi Gras downtown entertainment district where the majority of parades, headline concerts, balcony parties, vendor booths and other festivities are held. Once in the district, there is NO additional fee for attending concerts and parades. Balcony parties require an additional ticket.

Admission to the entertainment district is FREE for children 12 years or younger accompanied by a parent or guardian. Seawall parades and festivities are also free to attend.

Is there a theme for Mardi Gras! Galveston?

No, there is no official theme for Mardi Gras! Galveston. Although, some parade krewes choose annual themes for their individual parades.

When are the biggest Mardi Gras! Galveston parades?

The first weekend of Mardi Gras hosts two of the celebration’s largest parades: the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Parade and Krewe of Gambrinus Parade. The second weekend hosts the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade. Each of these parades travels along the Seawall and through the downtown district.

What is Mardi Gras attire?

Many people celebrating Mardi Gras! Galveston tend to get into the spirit of things and dress up for the occasion! You will see a variety of costumes, sequined outfits, flashy hats, and colorful wigs. The best advice to follow is to dress properly for the weather and dress comfortably.

Can I bring my children to Mardi Gras! Galveston?

Yes. Mardi Gras! Galveston is a family tradition for most attending. Daytime parades are great to attend with your family, and the downtown district hosts a ‘Family Gras’ celebration on the first Sunday of Mardi Gras! Galveston. Parade schedules can be found here.

Please be advised that children are allowed in the downtown entertainment district with their parent or guardian but once nighttime rolls around, the atmosphere may not be suitable for children.

Who was the performing entertainment for 2022?

3 Doors Down, the six-time platinum-selling rock band from Mississippi, headlined the festival’s first day of concerts on Saturday, Feb. 19. Superstar Tejano group Siggno headlined Fiesta Gras!, Mardi Gras! Galveston’s annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage, on Sunday, Feb. 20. Arkansas-born country artist Matt Stell will kick off the second weekend of festivities with a headlining set on Friday, Feb. 25.

To see the full lineup of entertainment, click here.

2022 Mardi Gras! Galveston Headliners
Entertainment
3 Doors Down

3 Doors Down, the six-time platinum-selling rock band from Mississippi, will headline the festival’s first day of concerts on Saturday, Feb. 19.

Entertainment
Matt Stell

Arkansas-born country artist Matt Stell will kick off the second weekend of festivities with a headlining set on Friday, Feb. 25.

Entertainment
Siggno

Superstar Tejano group Siggno will headline Fiesta Gras!, Mardi Gras! Galveston’s annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage, on Sunday, Feb. 20.

Where should I park?

Parking lots are located at 21st & Market, 20th & Market, and 20th & Post Office. Parking garages are located at 25th & Harborside and 22nd & Market. There is also metered street parking. A taxi stand will be located on 23rd and Market for pickup and drop off of guests to the entertainment district.

How do I become a Mardi Gras! Galveston vendor?

All interested exhibitors, please email ekibling@yagaspresents.com or call 409-770-0999. For more information visit the official vendor page here.

I plan to stay multiple days in Galveston for Mardi Gras. Where can I stay?

We have many hotels on the Island to fit all comfort levels and budgets. Certain hotels do offer Mardi Gras packages, which can be found here. If you wish to stay at a hotel not on that list, please contact them directly. Since Mardi Gras! Galveston is such a popular festival, it is best to book your hotel in advance to secure a room. Visitors can also choose from a variety of bed-and-breakfasts or vacation rental homes.

Where to Stay

Galveston’s Mardi Gras: Pageantry and Revelry Exhibit

With this colorful array of garments, let us celebrate the fantastic legacy of Galveston’s Mardi Gras Krewes! Each piece of clothing represents not only a time of celebration but passion, community service, collaboration, and often incredible craftsmanship. With themes changing yearly, this is not your regular party garb! Behold the phenomenal Treasure Ball Monarch Butterfly cape from 1981 and the Krewe of Gambrinus’ Night in Old Havanna – themed costumes from 2018.

This exhibition will be on view for a limited run from January 22 through March 27, 2022

This exhibit at The Bryan Museum represents a portion of the organizations past and present that celebrate Mardi Gras on the Island. From the oldest costume in the exhibit (the King’s regalia worn by Charles Dibrell in 1938) to the newest (the blue gown worn by Francis Margaret Kusnerik for the 2020 Momus Coronation Ball), we hope you enjoy this journey through Mardi Gras fashion!

It's Not Mardi Gras Without King Cake!

King Cake calories don't count during Mardi Gras! Galveston. It's true! Many local island businesses join in on the festivities and provide visitors a chance to enjoy this Carnival desert.

King Cakes are a New Orleans tradition made of pastry, laced with cinnamon, and iced in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green. Contemporary pastries often have different fruit and cream cheese fillings. Below are some options to grab yourself a King Cake in Galveston:

King Cake

Get the Mardi Gras season started with one of Rao's delicious King Cakes - sold at Maceo Spice!

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King Cake

PattyCakes offers the most delicious King Cakes in the area made by hand with the finest and freshest ingredients.

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King Cake

Grab a fresh, to-order King Cake from Gypsy Joynt, now in their new location at 6105 Stewart Rd.

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Beads for Needs

Yaga’s Entertainment is bringing something exciting to the 111th Mardi Gras! Galveston celebration. Introducing ‘Beads for Needs’ – a new program geared toward getting Mardi Gras beads out of the trash while giving Life Skills students the opportunity to build a business from the ground up and become self-sufficient.

Each year, Yaga’s Entertainment buys 3 million strands of plastic beads to be thrown during Mardi Gras! Galveston, and after all the fun is had those beads either add to the trash or get stashed away in a closet to be forgotten about.

Online Store - Buy Your Beads Here

Now, those beads will have a renewed purpose in helping the students at Ball High in Daren Muren’s Life Skills program and Rob Lewis’ entrepreneurial program – Incubator. The Incubator business students will work closely with Life Skills students to collect, sort, clean and repackage the beads for sale in their upcoming online store. Students will coordinate the collection of beads through community events. BHS Service and social clubs will work alongside community groups in an effort to round up 1 million beads prior to the 2022 carnival season. Beads will be collected in specific bead drive containers to be decorated by the GISD Art Program in a festive Mardi Gras! fashion.

Learn more about "Beads for Needs" here.

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