When you mention Mardi Gras in St. Louis, most of us think of Soulard, home to one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans. The Soulard festivities last for weeks, beginning with Twelfth Night in January and ending with the Bud Light Grand Parade on February 25. Here are the top events and activities during the 2017 Soulard Mardi Gras.
Family Winter Carnival – January 21
The Family Winter Carnival is a chance for everyone to get into the Mardi Gras spirit. There are live performances, arts and crafts and a children’s parade. The carnival is held at Soulard Market Park.
Snowman Softball Tournament – January 28 – 19
Snow or Shine! The region’s premier winter adult softball tournament returns for its sixth year at Central Fields in Forest Park. This year, over 90 teams will compete for the title in their respective division. The coed division plays Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 a.m., and the mens division plays Sunday, January 29 at 7:30 a.m.
Wine Beer and Whiskey Taste – February 10
Spend the evening sampling beverages and meeting the makers of more than 50 beverages from Missouri and beyond. From 7 p.m. – 11 p.m., Guests can enjoy samples of award-winning barbecue from a variety of Award Winning BBQ. Music for the evening will be provided by DJ Quain. Tickets are 40 in advance; $50 at the door
Cajun Cook Off – February 11
You are sure to get your fill of Cajun and Creole food at the Cajun Cook-Off. Learn the secrets of Cajun cooking from the best chefs in St. Louis while enjoying complimentary dishes prepared by them. In addition from learning from the professionals you can also check out the amateur chef scene in st. louis as they display their skills and compete against other amateur chefs. Everyone who attends gets food, Bud Light and hurricanes. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.
Missouri Lottery 5k Run for Your Beads – February 18
Get your exercise, St. Louis Mardi Gras style! Show up in your best purple, gold, and green costume and race your way through the historic Soulard neighborhood. In true Mardi Gras spirit, pit stops along the race route will hand out complimentary beer and hurricanes (for runners 21 and older). All registrants will receive a limited edition 5K Run for Your Beads t-shirt. Tickets are $25 until February 10; $30 after February 10 to race day; $35 on Race Day
Cruzan Rum Taste of Soulard – February 18 – 19
This unique self-guided tasting and pub crawl has become one of the most popular events of the Mardi Gras season. Every $25 ticket includes one drink voucher and six food vouchers. You choose the six dishes you wish to sample from a range of Cajun-inspired options. Saturday attendees can enjoy complimentary trolley rides from one establishment to the next, guided as always by the world famous Soulard Trolley Tramps. Tickets are $25
Beggin’ Pet Parade – February 19
The Guinness World Record holder for largest costumed pet parade in the world celebrates its 24th year! Thousands of festive four-legged (and other animal friends) strut their style as they step off at 1 p.m. from 12th and Allen. Those deemed best dressed are selected as members of the Court of the Mystical Krewe of Barkus and make the cut to be part of the Coronation pageant (8th and Lafayette) where the King and Queen of Barkus are crowned. Of course, the party continues after Coronation with a free concert in the Soulard Market Plaza.
Wiener Dog Derby – February 19
The longest-running dachshund derby in America is back. Enjoy the Sport of Weenies as wiener dogs compete in three age-based categories: Cocktail Weenies, Ballpark Franks, Wiener Wannabe and Hot Dogs, for the title of fastest Weenie! The races take place over a series of elimination heats until we have the Dash of Champions in each age category.
Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball – February 24
The Mayor’s Ball is one of the year’s most anticipated social events. The Black Tie Gala in the Rotunda of St. Louis City Hall is a one-of-a-kind fairy tale evening of great food, cocktails, dancing, and spectacular entertainment. The night always culminates with a packed dance floor of energized, blissful revelers dressed in alluring gowns and modish tuxedos pulsating to the beat of the music and glittering in the mesmerizing, brilliant light show illuminating the rotunda. Tickets are $150 for General Admission
Bud Light Grand Parade – February 25
This is the big event of Mardi Gras, bringing tens of thousands of revelers to the streets of Soulard. Some 130 Krewes spend months building their floats, hoping to win prizes and bragging rights at the parade. In addition to the floats, there are also marching bands and, of course, millions of beads flying through the air. The parade begins at 11 am Busch Stadium, makes its way into the heart of Soulard and ends at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
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