Mardi Gras—“Fat Tuesday” in French, celebrates the final day of indulgence before Lent. In the United States, the most famous Mardi Gras fetes occur in New Orleans, but many Texas towns and cities get into the Mardi Gras spirit, as well–especially in Southeast Texas, where influences from Louisiana abound.
Mardi Gras Galveston, which takes place this year February 21-March 4, culminates in a grand parade through the Strand District and downtown. This is the 103rd year that Galveston Island has hosted the event, now the 3rd largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. See www.galveston.com/mardigras.
In Jefferson, Mardi Gras Upriver celebrates its 25th anniversary February 28-March 4 with parades, live entertainment, and plenty of food, drink, and festivities. See www.mardigrasupriver.com.
Port Arthur gets into the Mardi Gras spirit, too, with a celebration known as Southeast Texas Mardi Gras. This year’s event takes place February 27 through March 2 and includes parades, concerts, and costumes galore. See www.mardigrastx.com.
The city of McKinney has let the whole thing go to the dogs. In a good way. On March 2, the annual Krewe of Barkus welcomes more than 200 costumed canines and their owners in a parade west of the historic downtown area. See www.mckinneytexas.org.
For more Mardi Gras events, see www.texashighways.com/events.