Forget New Orleans — Celebrate Mardi Gras In These Seven Cities Instead
Fat Tuesday Is On Its Way
If you ask anyone in America where the best place to celebrate Mardi Gras is, they’ll probably tell you to get yourself on down to New Orleans if you’re looking for a good time. However, there are plenty of other cities in America and around the world that celebrate with grand carnivals and parades before the fasting season of Lent begins. So if you’re looking to celebrate Shrove Tuesday somewhere new, then take a gander at our top suggestions.
1. St. Louis, Missouri
Now you may think the celebrations in New Orleans are big, but St. Louis’ party is nothing to scoff at. Mardi Gras was revived in the city around the 1980s when a group of friends decided to go on their own march from their favorite watering hole downtown to a bar in another neighborhood.
Since then the celebrations have really kicked off and the party starts on the 12th of January and lasts all the way up until Fat Tuesday! This event has some huge corporate sponsors, so growing from a friendly neighborhood tromp with some pals to a two month long sponsored celebration is no joke.
2. Galveston, Texas
They say everything is done bigger in Texas and Galveston's Fat Tuesday party is no exception! This year will be the city’s 108th Mardi Gras celebration and it is hailed as the third largest celebration in the United States. The beach town will have a whole host of activities including concerts, balcony parties, masked balls, and of course, a parade. Plus, this carnival is family friendly and includes a beach boardwalk, so you won’t want to miss out on all the fun!
3. Quebec, Canada
For all of you winter lovers out there, it turns out our neighbor to the north celebrates too! Due to the intensely cold weather that they experience in Quebec during this time of the year, the celebrations have transformed into a delightful Winter Carnival. Activities include canoe racing along the St. Lawrence River, creating giant snow sculptures, and sledding in front of the Chateau Frontenac. If you’re looking for some delightful winter festivities, then this is the celebration for you!
4. Port Of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago
If you want a raging party on a small island then J’ouvert — Carnival — is what you're looking for! This small island gears up for one of it’s biggest celebrations of the year by throwing on their elaborate, brightly colored and feathered bikinis and then they hit the streets dancing.
The dancing street parties are held daily and start at the setting of the sun and don’t end til dawn comes. There’s also some stick fighting and limbo competitions throughout, so if you’re a dancing queen with a competitive edge, then this might be the party for you!
5. Venice, Italy
Carnevale di Venezia — the Carnival of Venice — is the true OG Mardi Gras celebration. Citizens had been joyously celebrating in Italy since the 12th century, that is until total buzzkill Francis II, Emperor of Austria came on the scene and banned the party in the late 18th century. However, in 1979 — the year the funk died — the local government revived the holiday and it’s been extremely popular ever since.
Locals don intricate, traditional masks and costumes so they can strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges in the hopes of winning the coveted award for best mask. This celebration attracts about three million visitors per year, so if you’re looking for some strange costumes and very, very delicious food, then you’ve found the right place!
6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio’s Carnival is one of the largest and most well-known parades in the world. This celebration draws around two million party-goers a year to the city and is even considered a national holiday in Brazil. The Brazilians go big during this time, so they obviously eat, drink, dance and party their hearts out.
The celebrations also include plenty of wild costumes, parade watching, and of course, listening to Samba music, which has become synonymous with Carnival celebrations in Brazil. The parade has been held religiously since 1984 and the top samba schools compete for the championship title every year. If you really want to live it large, then you better get yourself down to Rio!
7. Sydney, Australia
If you want to travel to land down under, then Mardi Gras has evolved into an annual LGBT pride parade that lasts for almost three full weeks in Sydney. It’s become one of the largest pride events in the world and it lasts from February 16th till March 4th! So whether you’re looking to party with drag queens, hit a local market, catch a comedy show, get a bite to eat, dance your heart out, go to some exciting concerts, or just get your parade on, then Sydney has got everything you need henny.
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