Guide to Mardi Gras in STL
It’s no secret that St. Louisans love a good excuse to celebrate. Whether that’s the Arch’s 50th birthday or a Cardinals win – we’ll flood the streets with people any day of the year.
But did you know that apart from celebrations in New Orleans, one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations happens right here in St. Louis? This weekend, over 200,000 people will head to Soulard for live entertainment, good food and drinks, and of course the annual Mardi Gras Parade led by the Budweiser Clydesdales.
We’re seasoned veterans of Mardi Gras in STL, and below you’ll find some great tips on how to prepare for the festivities!
- Keep up to date with the event schedule:
- It all kicks off tonight with Mardi Gras Mayor’s Ball at 7 p.m. Hosted by the Mardi Gras Foundation in the Rotunda of St. Louis City Hall, this black tie gala will feature traditional Mardi Gras food and drinks, and of course entertainment and dancing.
- Arrive early Saturday morning for the Midwest’s largest pre-Lenten celebration – the Bud Light Grand Parade! Over 100 floats will weave through the streets of Soulard beginning at 11 a.m., tossing hundreds of thousands of beads and goodies to the crowd.
- All-day entertainment begins at 9 a.m. Check out the schedule to see when and where your favorite band will perform.
- For the 21+ crown, the Bud Light Party Tent kicks off at 9 a.m. for nine hours of beer, beats and beads. Tickets are $125 – Buy yours here.
- Have a transportation plan! The parade route will close many of the streets in Soulard. Plan ahead and decide whether to take the Metro Mardi Gras Shuttle, drive or Uber – and if you decide to park downtown, check out the official map indicating closed streets and operating parking garages.
- Dress for the weather! Mardi Gras events will go on rain or shine, so be sure to dress in layers and check the weather before you leave.
- Where will you eat and drink during the day? Check out this list of open Soulard neighborhood bars and restaurants – remember that some require tickets for entry.
- Remember the essentials – ID, portable charger, hand sanitizer – but remember, no bottles, cans, backpacks or coolers. Read the Do’s + Dont’s of Mardi Gras here.