Categories: Party Life

Top 12 Places College Students Should Go To Celebrate Mardi Gras

When it comes to Mardi Gras the first place that comes to mind is New Orleans, but as college students, it isn’t always the most convenient or affordable to celebrate there. Lucky for you, there are other places to be celebrating and they may just be close to you! Mardi Gras is a tradition and celebration of spring, but for you this means lots of food, drinking and having fun! Keep reading to find where the best places are that you should go celebrate Mardi Gras!

1. Galveston, Texas

This is by far the biggest and best Mardi Gras celebration in Texas! This Mardi Gras celebration gets over 200,000 visitors and is two weekends long. The celebration runs from February 14 – 25.  There will be more than 3 million beads thrown, 5 masked balls, 24 parades and performances from popular artists. You can even buy tickets to be in the parade if you want! You and your friends would definitely have a fun time at this Mardi Gras celebration! There is something for everyone, so if you are a student near Galveston, Texas then make sure to check this party out!

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2. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola certainly shows up with energy for their Mardi Gras. They have many events that lead up to the Mardi Gras parade which makes it perfect for you and your friends to stay busy and have some excitement. Pensacola has a kick-off celebration that begins as early as January 4th. The kick-off celebration consists of a float and some detailed costumes. The Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade has over 6,000 people who participate in the parade and 100,000 come down to watch it. Aside from the Grand Parade, Pensacola also hosts a variety of other parades as well as a Mardi Gras Ball.

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3. Mobile, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama celebrates Mardi Gras on a whole new level. The festivities go for a month-long which gives you plenty of time to make your way over there for some of the celebrations! In fact, the celebration is so big they publish a magazine for it called Mobile Mask. Mardi Gras in Mobile is the oldest carnival celebration, even passing up New Orleans. Mobile fills its streets with parades, dancers, marching bands and so much more! With 50 parades to choose from, you and your friends will without a doubt have a good time!

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4. St. Louis, Missouri

Soulard is St. Louis’ best known Mardi Gras party, but there are more parties, balls, and parades than just that! St. Louis offers New Orleans style cuisine during Mardi Gras and its offered at a variety of restaurants. If food is what you’re looking for during this time of celebration then St. Louis, Missouri may be your place! There is even a dog derby that you won’t want to miss! February 22nd is when all the big events begin so make sure to check them out!

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5. Burlington, Vermont

Although further North, Burlington still celebrates Mardi Gras in style! This New England town celebrates where it all begins, on Church Street Marketplace. Street artists, musicians, and other entertainment fills the streets along with pop-up tents. Although no parade during last year’s Mardi Gras, you never know what this town has planned for 2020! Make sure to check out this original celebration that’s all about the people!

6. San Diego, California

San Diego hosts the largest Mardi Gras celebration on the West Coast. This place is a great option if you’re on the West Coast and don’t want to travel too far to celebrate! San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter hosts a huge masquerade parade on February 25th, with extravagant floats, costumes and over the top energy! Make sure to check this parade out if you’re from the West Coast and then continue celebrating into the night with friends!

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7. Lafayette, Louisiana

New Orleans is the most known, but Lafayette is another place big for celebrating Mardi Gras. This town’s event begins two weeks before Mardi Gras. If you’re in Louisiana, or close by and don’t want to be in such a big party as New Orleans then this is a great place! This celebration is full of traditions and parties! Lafayette is a small town, but worth the visit!

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8. Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles is another town in Louisiana known for celebrating Mardi Gras big! The celebration event starts in January, but the party keeps going all the way until Mardi Gras. This town is genuine and full of life, which makes it a great place to celebrate! You can attend this unique event that you get to eat at too! It’s called the World Famous Cajun Extravaganza and Gumbo Cook-Off, and I suggest going there if you want a delicious experience!

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9. Orlando, Florida

Universal Studios hosts Florida’s biggest party… Mardi Gras! There is nightly parades, street performers, crazy costumes and beads galore! Popular artists will also be performing live in concert! This celebration lasts for 50 nights, so you won’t be able to miss it! All these festivities are included in your theme park admission, so plan your trip now!

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10. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix offers Mardi Gras parties, deals at local bars and other festivities during this week-long celebration! You can easily find something fun to do for this celebration without having to pay to travel to New Orleans. Scottsdale, Arizona even has a Mardi Gras costume shop so be sure to check it out and find something to wear for this party!

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11. Washington, D.C.

It may be miles away, but Washington, D.C. is still celebrating Mardi Gras with parades, balls, parties, and many more festivities! Celebrated along the D.C. waterfront, this parade will have custom floats and New Orleans cuisine and drinks! Make sure to check out all the festivities offered!

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12. New Orleans, Louisiana

It’s obvious, but it had to be mentioned since Mardi Gras it put on like no other in New Orleans. Outdoor festivals, over 70 parades, masked balls, regular balls and of course king cakes, New  Orleans never fails at putting on a good time. None of the parades require tickets which makes it affordable and easy. There are parties of all types, so you’re sure to find one that fits what you want! Hundreds of thousands of visitors come each year for this celebration so you won’t want to miss it!

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Mardi Gras is the perfect reason to celebrate! Plan your trip to one of these celebrations now and comment below on what you did!

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Allie Russotto

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