Get inside tips to make the most of Mardi Gras in Galveston
Make Your Own Mardi Gras Fun in Galveston
Mardi Gras! Galveston is on hiatus this year. For the first time, since it resumed in 1985, Galveston is not celebrating Mardi Gras on a grand scale. But, if you need an excuse to put on your favorite Mardi Gras beads and explore the island, Galveston’s Krewe of Saints is inviting homeowners to decorate their homes, porches, and yards for Mardi Gras 2021.
Galveston Island is an official ex-pat sub krewe of The Krewe of House Floats (KoHF), a New Orleans socially-distant krewe bringing the spirit of parades home to celebrate Carnival season in a pandemic-safe way. The Krewe of Saints is posting a list of participating locations on Monday, Feb. 1. Revelers are invited to view the Mardi Gras themed homes from Friday, Feb. 5 through Tuesday, Feb. 16.
And, if you are in Galveston on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m., locations that wish to participate will feature owners and friends on their porches or in their yards with beads and revelry to those visiting these Feb. 13 locations.
Since Mardi Gras is also about celebrating with food and drink, local restaurants are adding a little Mardi Gras flair to their menu during the carnival season. Yaga’s Cafe is offering a Mardi Gras brunch during the first two weekends in February from 10:30am to 3pm. Mosquito Cafe is adding Gumbo, Muffuletta and King Cake French Toast to their menu. You can also order King Cake at Gypsy Joynt and Patty Cakes. And, of course, Muffuletta are always on the menu at Maceo’s Spice and Import Company. For takeout, La Cocina by Chef Mary Bass is offering small party packs.
Mardi Gras History in Galveston
Galveston, like New Orleans, has a history of Mardi Gras. In 1840, the Galveston City Company founder, Michel Menard, hosted the first masquerade ball on the island in his home which still stands today. The first Mardi Gras ball was held on March 26, 1856, in this same home with more than 300 guests donning various costumes. According to newspaper reports, Lady Washington, Don Juan, French Musketeers, and Cassonova were popular costumes of the day.
Galveston hosted its first official citywide celebration in 1871 as two rival krewes emerged. The Knights of Momus and the Knights of Myth. Both held grand night parades until 1880. Mardi Gras continued in the form of private balls until World War II. Mardi Gras was resumed in 1985 by Galvestonian George Mitchell and his wife Cynthia in conjunction of the opening of The Tremont House. Since its revival, the festivities have grown to more than 20 parades and processions over two weekends with the final parade on Fat Tuesday.
This year, create your own Mardi Gras fun by driving by participants of The Krewe of House Floats, then stop by your favorite local restaurant for that Muffuletta and King Cake.
Make the most of these Mardi Gras travel tips and enjoy your getaway in Galveston. Ryson Vacation Rentals offers more than 200 properties across the island that provide plenty of reasons to visit Galveston this year. If you need help planning your visit, Gulf Coast Concierge is available to assist.