Mardi Gras! Galveston

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Galveston, TX at the 3rd largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country with several parades, live entertainment, street food vendors and much more.

The colors. The parades. The beads. The incredible food, music, and crowds bursting with excitement - Mardi Gras has a lot to love. And when you add the sand between your toes and the epic views of the island of Galveston, Mardi Gras gets even better.

Date(s): February 21 - March 4, 2025

people celebrate mardi gras on balcony's as a mardi gras parade float travels down the street in Galveston

Mardi Gras! Galveston FAQs

When is Mardi Gras! Galveston?

Mardi Gras! Galveston is held annually during the two weeks preceding Lent. The 2025 celebration will take place from February 21 - March 4, 2025, 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.

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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.

Full Parade Schedule

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.

Where should I park?

Cash-only parking lots are located at:

  • 1813 Market St
  • 1828 Market St
  • 1913 Market St
  • 2011 Market St
  • 1819 Postoffice St
  • 1918 Postoffice St

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.

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.

Mardi Gras! Galveston Today
Know Before You Go
Get the Most Out of Mardi Gras

If you are planning to head to Galveston for the next Carnival season, it is a good idea to know what to expect. Galveston’s festival takes place for the two weeks preceding Lent and ends on the official Mardi Gras date. Most festivities take place in Galveston’s historic downtown in the Mardi Gras Entertainment District. Parades and other activities take place along the beachfront and Seawall Boulevard.

A man wearing red, gold, and white costume marches down the street surrounded by people in costume at Mardi Gras! Galveston
Know Before You Go
What to Expect

There is a gate fee for entrance into The Strand, but children ages 12 and under can enter for free. Parking lots are located at 21st & Market Street; 20th & Market Street; and 20th & Postoffice Street, and garages are located at 25th & Harborside Drive and 22nd & Market Street. If you are lucky, you may also be able to find metered street parking.

The History of Mardi Gras! Galveston
a mardi gras float travels along the parade route during the Mardi gras celebration in Galveston
History of Mardi Gras! Galveston
A Historic Celebration

Mardi Gras! Galveston is the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country and has a long history of festivities. The first celebration in Galveston was held in 1867, complete with a masked ball and Shakespearean reenactments!

In 1871, two rival Mardi Gras societies, or “Krewes” were created. These krewes were known as Knights of Momus and the Knights of Myth, both of which hosted parades, complete with stunning invitations and costumes. These original Krewes are still acknowledged and celebrated to this day.

Today, Mardi Gras! Galveston is celebrated in much the same way as it was in the days of old: with parades, balcony parties, and festive balls, all paying homage to the historic ceremonies.

Where to Stay & What to Bring

Mardi Gras! Galveston can draw up to 350,000 people. Because of this, it is important to plan your lodging ahead of time. Check out local Bed and Breakfasts that will be the perfect place to relax and regroup during the carnival.

Making your packing list? Don’t forget to add a little sparkle! Mardis Gras! In Galveston, you will see some very clever and creative costumes, covered in sequins, confirming that festival attendees are ready for a good time. Don’t forget: Galveston is an island and is in Texas, but it still can get chilly in February, so bring a jacket along with your super wild attire.

person wearing a sugar skull mask and colorful costume at Mardi Gras! Galveston

Bringing Home the Beads

If Mardi Gras is on your bucket list, but so is a beach getaway, Mardi Gras! Galveston may be just the celebration for you. Pack your beads, and get ready for an epic experience you won’t soon forget.

Take your beads home and add them to your collection so you're ready for next year or stop by the Galveston Island Humane Society to recycle!