Mardi Gras Galveston Is 3rd Largest Mardi Gras Celebration in U.S.

Ferris wheel on beachfront at night
Galveston Mardi Gras 2012. Events and Parades on The Strand and The Seawall. Photo credit Visit Galveston

Galveston Island Style! Offers Beachfront Revelry on the Texas Coast

GALVESTON ISLAND, TEXAS – If you’re looking for a unique Mardi Gras experience in 2023, hit the beach and the historic downtown of Galveston Island!


Mardi Gras! Galveston, the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, offers the unique chance to experience sand between your toes and gorgeous beach sunsets while taking in the revelry and lavish parades known to dominate Galveston Island during carnival season.


The island’s 112th Mardi Gras celebration, to be held Feb.10 – 21 is expected to draw more than 350,000 attendees for live concerts, parades, balcony parties and several elegant balls. And, this island-style Mardi Gras has plenty of personality.

Find your Mardi Gras style with these highlights:


  • Classic Revelry & Endless Parades – Galveston’s historic downtown entertainment district will put you in the center of classic Mardi Gras revelry complete with crowds and plenty of beads. Nearly all parades go through downtown, where you can enjoy the view from the street or from above at a balcony party. Main concert stages are also located downtown, where the event’s headline performances take place. The festival’s largest parades also run along the beachfront on Seawall Boulevard.


  • Upscale Mardi Gras – If you’re looking to catch any of the colorful beads to be thrown from parade floats and downtown balconies, you don’t have to stand in the streets to do it. Mardi Gras! Galveston’s elegant side will feature several masked balls where black-tie attire, lavish buffets, live performers, dancing and parade viewing invoke the evening festivities.


  • Fiesta Gras! – Sunday, Feb. 12 brings the return of the Hispanic heritage celebration with live entertainment performances from Grupo Secretto, Kazzabe and even Mariachis, themed parades, vendors and exclusive meet & greet balcony parties.


  • FamilyGras – Sunday, Feb. 19 is Family Gras at Mardi Gras! Galveston, featuring live family entertainment, plus the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux pet parade, Mardi Gras Children’s Parade, and the Shriners Hospital Parade in the downtown entertainment district.


Added Excitement – Mardi Gras isn’t just about the party either, join in on the Jolly Jester 5K Jaunt, participate in the official poster contest or join a uniquely themed parade like the Umbrella Brigade, known for their wildly decorated umbrellas.

Remember, if you don’t plan to keep your full Mardi Gras bead haul, you can return beads to a local collection bin to support the Beads for Needs program. The beads will have a renewed purpose in helping the students at Ball High in the life skills and entrepreneurial program.


Tickets are available now at discounted rates. Ticket prices do increase closer to the event, so buying early is recommended. Visit for parade routes, entertainment schedules, balcony access and hotel packages.


About Mardi Gras! Galveston

Mardi Gras, the traditional festival of feasting and merrymaking that precedes the season of Lent, was first publicly observed on Galveston Island in 1867. Following a sabbatical imposed in 1941 by war and challenging times, Mardi Gras! Galveston was revived in 1985 by Galveston-born preservationist and developer George P. Mitchell. The largest celebration of its kind in Texas and the third largest in the nation, Mardi Gras! Galveston brings the island’s streets to life with parade viewers shouting for beads, lively tunes played by the colorful marching bands, and the infectious merriment that dominates the island for two full weeks.


About Galveston Island

Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is the birthplace of Juneteenth and home to popular amusements such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island go to or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.