Mardi Gras Island
Galveston's Seaside Carnival Celebration
Mardi Gras in Galveston, Texas
Photos Courtesy of the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sun, surf, sand, and cheering crowds competing for beads. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? For the 250,000 participants expected each year at Galveston Texas’ Carnival celebration, that’s exactly what they can expect.
First celebrated in 1867, the Galveston Mardi Gras tradition has a long and storied history. But some time around World War II, when the nation’s mind was elsewhere, and the men folk were off at war, the Texas Gulf Coast Mardi Gras revelry slowed down and all but faded away.
Yet the Galveston Mardi Gras tradition never truly died out. It was kept alive through private parties and discreet, at home, celebrations. In 1985 Galveston native son George P. Mitchell and his wife Cynthia revived the tradition and breathed life back into Mardi Gras in Galveston.
That first year, the theme was “The Age of Mythology”, and featured just nine floats. But in recent years, as Mardi Gras in Galveston approaches and surpasses its 25th year (since the 1985 revival), a different theme is chosen every year and the festivities spread across two weekends, involving the efforts of 20 krewes, most with dozens of workers and volunteers.
As you’d expect in Texas, Mardi Gras is a big all-consuming experience. That said, and regardless of the season, there are lots of daytime activiites in and around Galveston. For anyone looking to experience Mardi Gras with their family, or wanting to enjoy a destination in their “off hours” (when not attending parades or business functions), Galveston is an excellent choice. There are lots of things to see and do. This list is just a taste, intended to get you started.
Galveston Feature Stories
Art & Architecture- Dead Tree Sculptures, Artist Boat Kayak Tours, and the Bishop's Palace.
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