The 365 Guide to Mardi Gras! Galveston: Parties, Parades, Concerts & Family Fun

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston


Catch beads and enjoy parades, concerts, balcony parties and more at Mardi Gras! Galveston from Friday, February 22 through Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

From Mardi Gras merrymaking to Fat Tuesday frolicking, Galveston comes alive for a two-week celebration that delights hundreds of thousands of visitors on the island with parades, parties, performances, and more during Mardi Gras! Galveston.

Marking its 108th festival, Galveston Island is home to one of the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations in the nation and offers a unique opportunity to take part in the classic carefree festivities while enjoying breezy beachside comfort.

Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB

Streetside Spectacles

With twenty-two parades crawling through the Entertainment District and along Seawall Boulevard, Mardi Gras! Galveston gives free and easy festival revelers heaps of chances to snag one of the many coveted throws hurled from floats that roll down Galveston’s brightly lit avenues.

In addition to the main Mardi Gras! Galveston parades, a diverse group of social organizations, known as krewes, take the helm of organizing other parades and events, complete with special themes, throws, and entertainment.

Opening Night Parades

Other Parade Highlights

  • Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Kick-Off Parade | Saturday, February 23 – The 33rd annual Aquarius Seawall parade begins at 57th Street as it winds 11 Aquarius floats, 15 marching bands, multiple krewes, and more down the Seawall and towards the Entertainment District. 1pm
  • Krewe of Gambrinus Parade | Saturday, February 23 at 6pm – From 57th Street, down Seawall Boulevard, and up to Mechanic Street, this early evening parade brings out a dozen lighted floats, marching bands, and more with over 650,000 throws courtesy of King Gambrinus. 6pm.
  • Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade | Saturday, March 2 – Dating back to 1871, the Knights of Momus is Galveston’s oldest and largest Mardi Gras krewe. Hitting both the Entertainment District and Seawall Boulevard, this parade is packed with colorful floats, marching bands, dignitaries, and heaps of beads. 6:30pm.
  • Krewe of Aquarius Fat Tuesday Parade | Tuesday, March 5 – One of the most popular parades of Mardi Gras! Galveston, this route is decked out with dozens of lighted floats, dance teams, marching bands, and more. The closing celebration of Fat Tuesday, this is a great way to see out the final hours of Mardi Gras! Galveston. 6:30pm.

Click here to check out a complete schedule of parades and routes.

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston

Sights from Up High

Achieve great heights during Mardi Gras! Galveston with a perch above the parades at one of the twenty balcony parties taking place during the festivities.

These ticketed events offer the chance to help rain beads on revelers below, enjoy special cash bar offerings, and dance away to live entertainment.

  • Mardi Gras! Headquarters Balcony | 23rd Street and Strand Street – Overlooking the main corner of Mardi Gras! Galveston, this is the place to be for the best views of parades and live music playing on the main stage.
  • King’s Court Balcony | 2021 Strand Street – Located in the Historic Strand District, this balcony catches parade routes down one of Galveston’s most popular streets and offers a chance to mingle with some of the festival’s headlining entertainment.
  • Queen’s Court Balcony | 2217 Strand Street – A new addition to the 2019 Mardi Gras! Galveston, this balcony is the last chance to catch the parades at the end of their routes.

In addition, balconies across the Entertainment District hold special parties on behalf of the many krewes taking part in the festival. Click here to see a complete schedule of balcony parties and purchase tickets. Act fast as these are expected to sell out.

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston

Family-friendly Festival Fun

On Sunday, March 3, Family Gras! takes over the Mardi Gras! Galveston festivities, inviting flocks of families to gather for a special series of parades complete with costumes, canines, kitties, and kiddos.

  • Shriners Hospital for Children & Sunshine Kids Parade – Family Gras! gets rolling with a parade filled with festive floats, Shriners clowns, and mini-cars. Noon.
  • 20th Annual Krew of Barkus & Meoux Parade – Sponsored by the Galveston Island Humane Society, this parade sends pets and their owners down a route that swings around the Entertainment District. If you’d like to walk your pet down the parade route, registration is $20 in advance; $30 at the gate. 1:30pm.
  • Mardi Gras Children’s Parade – Local firefighters and first responders host this parade, dedicated to the families and children of Galveston, complete with decorated floats and kiddos in costumes. 3pm.

Click here to see a full schedule of parades and routes.

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston

Mardi Gras Music

With more than thirty concerts taking place during Mardi Gras! Galveston, beaded revelers won’t be far from one of the event’s bustling dance floors or headlining performers.

A lineup of musicians from the world of soul, jazz, country, rock and more highlight each night’s parades and  celebrations taking place in the Entertainment District.

Click here for a full list of live entertainment taking place during Mardi Gras! Galveston.

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston

Island Lodging

With jubilant celebrations stretching deep into the night, a stay at one of Galveston’s many convenient hotels makes for an attractive add-on to a Mardi Gras! Galveston visit.

From famed historic hotels and upscale offerings, to beachfront condos and budget-conscious accommodations, Galveston Island is home to a diverse range of hotels, atmospheres, and special packages available during Mardi Gras! Galveston festivities.

Click here to see special offerings from some of Galveston’s hotels, or view more lodging by clicking here.

Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB

108th Mardi Gras! Galveston 2019

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston

This article was sponsored by Mardi Gras! Galveston. Per our advertising and sponsorship policy, we only accept sponsored content from organizations that meet our editorial standards and truly present a valuable activity, event, resource or destination for residents and visitors across the greater Houston area. Advertising revenue helps support 365 Things to Do in Houston, and our contributors, allowing us to expand our coverage of activities and events around the Houston area. Click here to learn about promoting your event or business.

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins keeps an eye out for all sorts of happenings in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and much more while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston.