Welcome to Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Float - Pensacola, Florida (2011)
Mardi Gras, known by many as “that bacchanal in New Orleans”, is, in reality, far more than just an excuse to have a good time. For communities that host Mardi Gras, the pre-Lenten Carnival season is a time to share and celebrate the blessings of community and family.
Witness the massive costume gala in Lake Charles, Louisiana that draws thousands from every corner of the community, cheering on friends, co-workers, and others as they honor a yearlong creative endeavor. And one need look no further than New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indians to see the pride and poignancy in Mardi Gras. These tribal groups mask, chant, and compete to be the “prettiest” even as they struggle to keep their tradition alive. Few realize that their tradition dates back well over a hundred years as they attempt to honor the Native Americans who helped their ancestors break the bonds and dependencies of slavery.
But the magic of Mardi Gras doesn’t stop on Ash Wednesday (the day after Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras Day). The eight communities profiled here on All About Mardi Gras are all rich in history and tradition, and carry that close community spirit, hospitality, cuisine, music, and festive atmosphere with them all year round. This means that travelers can enjoy many of the cultural, historical, and fun aspects of Mardi Gras without the crowds and mayhem.
True, it’s not exactly Mardi Gras, but you can see the costumes at the Imperial Calcasieu Mardi Gras Museum in Lake Charles, and witness the artifacts, costumes, myths and legends of the Mardi Gras Indians at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in New Orleans.
As you visit the pages and articles on All About Mardi Gras, I hope you’ll embrace the breadth and depth of the Mardi Gras experience, and consider visiting one of these eight cities for Mardi Gras, or at the time of year that best suits you.
HIstory of the French Quarter - History, Art & Architecture of the French Quarter
Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp - A Brief History of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter
Mardi Gras in Soulard - A Brief History of the Soulard Neighborhood in St. Louis
Family-Friendly New Orleans - NOLA Mardi Gras attractions, tips and tricks for all ages
NOLA Walking Neighborhoods - How to avoid traffic during Mardi Gras in New Orleans
The Krewe Of Rex - The King Of Carnival The Rex Organization, and Pro Bono Publico
Street Performers - Etiquette and standards for watching musicians and performance artists
Simply Heaven - Muriel's Jackson Square: Gulf Coast Cuisine With Supernatural Sides
Pat O'Brien's - The Home of "The Hurricane" is a Family Tradition That's Here to Stay
Local Hero - Breakfast At Slim Goodies Diner Feeds New Orleans In More Ways Than One
Galveston's Dining Delights - Dining Culture & Local Favorites in Gulf Coast Texas
Galveston History - The People and Events That Made Galveston Famous
Mardi Gras Galveston - Enjoy the Parties and Parades During Carnival in Galveston
Bellingrath Home and Gardens - Mardi Gras at the historic Battle House Hotel
Mobile's Living Room - Mardi Gras at the historic Battle House Hotel
Civil War Pensacola - Beach bluff battlements and the Civil War's real first battle
Travel Along the Boudin Trail- A Guide to Southwest Louisiana's signature sausage
Royal Gala - Mardi Gras at the historic Battle House Hotel
Mardi Gras Museum- World's Largest Collection of Mardi Gras Costumes
Crystal Cajun Cook-Off - St. Louis' Cajun & Creole Antidote to Old Man Winter
Soulard Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby- St. Louis' Four-Legged Mardi Gras Fun
Mardi Gras Hot Links:
Foodies Check Out:
- Boudreau & Thibodeau’s just off Bayou Terrebonne in Houma, LA.
- Palace Cafe down in the Big Easy (New Orleans)
- The Boudin Trail in Lake Charles, LA
Sugar Junkies Hot Tip:
- The history of beignets in our food features.
- Goo Goo Clusters and MoonPies to be thrown from parade floats in Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL.
- The history of King Cakes in our food features.