Last weekend, I attended the Mardi Gras celebration in Galveston, Texas. I had a great time and ended up with 387 pics and 2 videos.
I only attended on Saturday. The celebration continues this next weekend also, but I’ll be at the Houston Rodeo BBQ Cook Off. Look for that post soon.
This is a shot of the parade route that runs the length of the Strand.
I ran into several people that were dressed for the occasion.
I think this couple were with a Cruise Ship because in another pic, they wanted the ship behind them.
There were lots of merchandise booths to shop in.
Like father, like son. Great pic that I’m sure they enjoyed downloading from the site.
I’ll be adding in some info that I found out about Mardi Gras. Most of my material came from a New Orleans Mardi Gras site.
The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.
On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans, and named it “Pointe du Mardi Gras” when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday.
Bienville also established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane” (which is now Mobile) in 1702. In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras.
New Orleans was established in 1718 by Bienville. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans, but not with the parades we know today.
In the early 1740s, Louisiana’s governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, established elegant society balls, which became the model for the New Orleans Mardi Gras balls of today.
I saw several schools marching in the parades during the day.
Ball Golden Tornado Band. I would suggest different calligraphy and color of lettering in their banner because it’s hard to read.
Hitchcock High School.
The earliest reference to Mardi Gras “Carnival” appears in a 1781 report to the Spanish colonial governing body. That year, the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association was the first of hundreds of clubs and carnival organizations formed in New Orleans.
A First Responder’s float. Very popular with the crowd.
She has little star pasties on her nipples so it’s not nudity. I’m sure the people there wouldn’t mind.
By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders to celebrate Mardi Gras. Dazzling gaslight torches, or “flambeaux” lit the way for the krewe’s members and lent each event an exciting air of romance and festivity.
Milby High School Marching Thunder Band.
Everybody loves the Flag Corp.
Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated on “Fat Tuesday,” the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. In many areas, however, Mardi Gras has evolved into a week-long festival.
Take note of this next bus. It’s The Dancing Queen.
They were a fun group.
Now here is a bigger, newer bus called The Dancing King.
This group also participates in the Houston Art Car Parade each year. And they are always a hit.
They even have a caboose.
Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of Spring and fertility.
Action 5 News has a nice vehicle for parades.
This was a favorite bus of mine. The paint and graphics are awesome.
They spent a lot of time creating this vehicle.
And the yellow wigs added to the theme.
There were several Pirates at the celebration.
This is the coolest name that I’ve ever seen for a tanning salon.
Westbury High School Marching Band.
The excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and gras means “fat.” In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”
Many Pirates wore an eyepatch so that one eye was adjusted to the dark. And when they went below deck, they just lifted the eyepatch and could see well in the darkness.
This bus looks like something out of the Road Warrior.
Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods – meat, eggs, milk, lard and cheese – that remained in their homes, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and different types of fasting.
The word carnival, another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, also derives from this feasting tradition: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat, from the Latin carnem for meat.
This next bus has a great paint scheme for the Texans. Maybe some day the team will play as good as this bus looks.
Some Trump supporters made an appearance.
These next cars are really cool. Great for parades.
New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday of Mardi Gras with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.
Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well, including Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. Each region has its’ own events and traditions.
To this day, Mobile, Alabama claims to have the oldest annual Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.
A few Pirates walking the parade route.
Everybody loves mermaids.
Available only during the Mardi Gras season, king cake is typically made with brioche dough. Braided and laced with cinnamon, the dough is then glazed with purple, green and gold sugar or covered in icing in those same Mardi Gras colors.
What really sets king cake apart from other desserts, however, is the small plastic baby hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby in his or her slice must buy the next cake or perhaps host the next party.
Notice that this fire truck had engine problems and had to be towed the parade route. It’s a beautiful truck.
I ran into my friend Naji at the celebration. Here’s his food stand.
Almost all of the food stands have their food on display to make it easier to make a decision.
I love to see the food options at different events.
Naji told me that he went through 11 cases of Turkey legs in one day while at Dickens on the Strand.
Mardi Gras, as a celebration of life before the more-somber occasion of Ash Wednesday, nearly always involves the use of masks and costumes by its participants, and the most popular celebratory colors are purple, green, and gold.
Women exposing their breasts during Mardi Gras in New Orleans has been documented since 1889.
This girl had a great Mardi Gras outfit on.
In the crowded streets of the French Quarter, generally avoided by locals on Mardi Gras Day, flashers on balconies cause crowds to form on the streets.
Another Mardi Gras beauty.
In the last decades of the 20th century, the rise in producing commercial videotapes catering to voyeurs helped encourage a tradition of women baring their breasts in exchange for beads and trinkets.
Social scientists studying “ritual disrobement” found, at Mardi Gras 1991, 1,200 instances of body-baring in exchange for beads or other favors.
It’s believed that the bead-throwing tradition started in the 1880s when a man dressed as Santa became popular with the crowd for tossing them. Other krewes took notice and adopted it.
The beads used to be made of glass but are now primarily made of plastic. I saw several people with boob beads like this guy. Funny.
Elsik High School Mighty Ram Band.
More Pirates. What has 4 legs and 4 eyes?
I’ve seen this car in the Houston Art Car parade also.
A fun conveyance.
The crowd grew as the day went on.
Right before a parade started.
This is a cool vehicle.
Bands played throughout the day. 3 Doors Down was the headliner.
These girls were shooting a short 8 second video that was made into a slow-motion 30 second video. The video came out great and only cost $20.
This was one of the best things offered at Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration.
Here are the 3 girls. Their video looked fantastic.
This young lady was wearing a necklace that said, “Wild Party Girls.” When I asked for her photo holding up her necklace, she told me that was also her last name.
Getting a caricature is always fun.
Here’s another food stand.
In New Orleans, the city estimates around 25 million pounds of beads get thrown into the streets each year.
After clogged storm drains caused excess flooding, the city of NOLA cleared the drains of 45 million tons of beads.
An estimated 500,000 king cakes are sold each year during carnival season.
The word carnival comes from Latin “carne vale,” which means “farewell to meat.”
Places like Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada refer to Mardi Gras as Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove is rooted in the word shrive, which means to absolve, and people often go to church to confess their sins.
This tall guy asked me what the STORM Factory was, so I explained, then got their group shot. I’m sure he’s glad he asked. It’s a great shot of him and his friends having a fun time.
Check out the photo-bomber.
And you’ll even see vampires during Mardi Gras.
When 3 Doors Down started playing at 5:30pm, it was shoulder to shoulder in the stage area.
These next pics are of the best decorated jeeps in the parades.
When it comes to beads, everybody loves catching them. The most popular colors of beads are gold, green and purple.
These colors mean something in Christianity.
Gold – Power. Green – Faith. Purple – Justice.
I’ve never ridden in a parade nor thrown beads, but I know how it should be done.
This next lady would hold her hand to her ear as if to say, “I can’t hear you.” Then, she would throw her beads to the other side of the street. I won’t say what people called her, but it ain’t nice. This is not how to throw beads.
Mardi Gras has many sayings but the most famous one is “Laissez les bons temps rouler.” “Laissez les bons temps rouler” is a Cajun French saying that means “let the good times roll.”
In New Orleans, float riders are required by law to wear masks or face paint.
The first year that Mardi Gras was celebrated on a grand scale in Galveston was 1871 with the emergence of two rival Mardi Gras societies, or “Krewes” called the Knights of Momus (known only by the initials “K.O.M.”) and the Knights of Myth, both of which devised night parades, masked balls, exquisite costumes and elaborate invitations.
In 1985, native Galvestonian George P. Mitchell and his wife, Cynthia, launched the revival of a citywide Mardi Gras celebration. The Mitchells had long dreamed of restoring the Island’s splendid tradition, and the grand opening of their elegant Tremont House hotel in the historic Strand District provided the spark to do so.
These next pics are of my favorite golf carts from the golf cart parade.
Bubbles always make things more fun.
Mardi Gras in Galveston now annually attracts as many as 250,000 revelers throughout the island, which provides a significant boost to the island’s midwinter economy.
In Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, people celebrate Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and participating in pancake themed activities.
If gold symbolizes power, then this is one powerful golf cart and crew.
I’ve seen these guys in the Houston Art Car parade as well.
They look like a fun bunch.
One of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S. is held in Galveston, Texas.
Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the world’s largest Mardi Gras celebrations.
This is one great looking cart.
Myself and Naji.
With one decked out dude.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading about Mardi Gras and looking at some pics.
If you want to see all of my pics from the event, go to the link below and click on Photos. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your stay.
Stayed tuned for more fun and frivolity.