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Beware of Beads. It's Mardi Gras Time, Galveston!

For more than 100 years, Galveston has been throwing extravagant masked parties and parades to celebrate the final days before Lent. Carnival spirit takes over the island through the Mardi Gras season. King and Queen with the Royal Court wind their way down the Seawall to the Strand district with the parade culmination under the Mardi Gras Arch.

  • The 2022 Mardi Gras! Galveston starts on Feb. 18 and ends on March 1.
  • All the major festivities take place in the Entertainment District aka The Strand Historic District.
  • Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday" is the last day of eating high-fat and "loaded" foods before Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and prayer in Christianity.

Regardless of whether you can attend any of the parades in the Strand or not, there will still be plenty of sights to enjoy, from the famous Powell Arch in the historic Strand to all the lavishly decorated Victorian homes. And a pair of your most comfortable walking shoes is all you need to experience the beauty of Galveston during the Mardi Gras celebration.


Boone Powell Arch

The Powell Arch, aka known as the Mardi Gras arch, was built in 1985 for the 1986 Mardi Gras celebration and since then has become one of the Galveston's renaissance symbols. This architectural landmark celebrates Mardi Gras all year round on the island.

Located in the heart of downtown next to the luxury Tremont House, it's a fun photo op, especially at night. Purple, yellow, and green lights illuminate the night and nearby buildings, adding so much personality to this island's historic corner. 

Galvestion – The Strand

And if you haven't visited it yet in person, chances are, you've already seen it online. This arch is one of the top five images that comes up on Google when looking up Mardi Gras in Galveston. 

Mardi Gras, Galveston


East End Historic District

East End goes all out to dress up for Carnival season, the 3rd largest in the U.S. You will be impressed at how fast those lavish Victorian homes go from holiday decor to beads galore.  This historic district is beautiful regardless of the season, but it's just over the top during Mardi Gras and so much fun to explore. 

Mardi Gras in Galveston

Beware of beads, they are a real treasure hunt, and the island is ready for it.  Galveston feels like a large party with feather bows, funky umbrellas, over-the-top hats, masquerade masks, and beads everywhere. The air is full of excitement and anticipation.

Mardi Gras Home in Galveston

East End Mardi Gras House in Galveston


Houses on the parade route are Carnival gold and a picture perfect backdrop. The Mardi Gras spirit takes over the island.

Mardi Gras Home in Galveston



Beaded Fences

Decorated in bold Mardi Gras colors, fences are the most festive and picture perfect at this time of year.

Mardi Gras Beaded Fence in Galveston
Mardi Gras Beaded Fence in Galveston

followed closely by the beaded trees. There's a flare of the Mardi Gras spirit on every corner of the island.

Mardi Gras Beaded Tree in Galveston
Mardi Gras Palm Tree in Galveston


Tsunami Tequila Emporium 

I'm mentioning this place here because of its unique one-of-a-kind collection of official Galveston Island Mardi Gras Posters. The exhibit counts dozens of posters created by local artists in different art mediums for Mardi Gras celebrations since the 1980s. Neatly aligned against the brick wall, these posters will give you a glimpse into the island's most treasured tradition over the last three decades.  

Mardi Gras Posters at Tsunami in Galveston


Parades! Bead There!

There's no shortage of parades throughout the Mardi Gras season. Each has its unique theme, style, and floats from the Umbrella Parade to the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade, with the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade being the most exciting highlight of the Carnival season.

  • Mardi Gras! Galveston begins on Friday night, Feb. 18, with the George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award Honoree Parade followed by the two more parades – The Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade and Mardi Gras! Galveston Parade. Let the Good Times Roll!
  • On Feb. 19, big parades such as The Mystic Krewe of Aquarius and Krewe of Gambrinus steal all the spotlight. They start at 57th Street and Seawall and head down to the Strand.
  • The Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade, a Mardi Gras! Galveston's iconic staple,  starts on Seawall on Sat., Feb. 26. Then it heads down the 25th Street toward the Strand. 
  • The last Sunday before Lent is a family Mardi Gras day. Dressed-up pups and cats step into the spotlight at the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade followed by the Firefighters Children’s Parade. The entrance to the Entertainment District on Feb. 27 in 2022 was free to everyone. Check out a Mardi Gras! Galveston Facebook page to confirm all the future entrance fee-free dates. 
  • The 2022 Mardi Gras season ends with a culminating The Mystic Krewe of Aquarius annual “Fat Tuesday “ Mardi Gras Parade on March 1.
  • General Admission to the Entertainment District during the carnival weekends starts at $16 for adults and is free for kids 12 and under. 
  • Parades are free to watch along Seawall and the streets leading to the Entertainment District.

Parades can be viewed from the streets and balconies in the Entertainment District. To enter the Mardi Gras quarters during the carnival weekends, you have to buy an admission ticket. It will include all the major festivities, such as numerous parades and live entertainment. 

The number of parades during the carnival weekends can be as many as five or six a day. A good way to experience them is to go to a few different parades, as each has its unique theme and style. Whopping 3 million beads will be thrown to the lucky spectators.

However, there are a few big parades, like The Mystic Krewe of Aquarius, the Krewe of Gambrinus, or The Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade, that can be watched along Seawall and the adjacent streets at no cost. 

Just make sure to arrive early before the streets start closing for the parade and to reserve a parking spot. Visit the Mardi Gras! Galveston to check the parade routes.

Mardi Gras Parade in Galveston

A Krewe of Saints's float rolls down 25th street in Galveston.


Mardi Gras Float


Golf carts might be the carnival's smallest floats, but they can definitely give a run for their money to some big-shot floats.  There's no such thing as too many beads even on the smallest one.  

You can also join in on the fun during the Zaniest Golf Cart Parade as the zaniest golf carts roll down the streets in the Entertainment District.

Mardi Gras Galveston

The full parade schedule in Galveston can be found here.


Galveston Island Trolley

After catching some Mardi Gras gold and dancing to the Dancing Queen Float's beat, hop on a trolley to explore the beautiful historic east end and Seawall with the stops at Stewart Beach, Moody Gardens, and many in between. 

Explore the island's atmospheric streets and key landmarks in the comfort of these unique streetcars. The trolley ticket is only $1 for adults and free for the kids who accompany them. Use exact change. Routes and hours are here.  

Galveston Island Trolley


More Mardi Gras parades to experience around Galveston and Houston in 2022

If you can't wait for the next parade's fun, here are some more places around Galveston and Houston to experience the Mardi Gras season. All these parades are free to watch. 

Yachty Gras Grand Night Boat Parade



Rest assured during the magical season of Carnival, Galveston will know how to charm you and become your Mardi Gras route favorite! 

Here's also a collection of Mardi Gras themed free fonts that you can use to make Mardi Gras shirts, cups, signs, printables, or any special design to get into the carnival spirit. It includes 10 versatile carnival-like fonts that will give you a perfect opportunity to create multiple unique designs in an instant.

Put a string of gold, purple, and green beads around your neck and let the good times roll!

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2. This Christmas Miracle Pop Up Bar in Houston Is Like Visiting Santa’s North Pole Village
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