Houston residents don’t have to travel to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras.

From Feb. 2-13, Galveston's historic downtown area will be home to parades, performances and parties traveling through the Mardi Gras Entertainment District.

At the 113th annual celebration, different cultures are represented through the live music lineup, which will showcase alternative rock group Gin Blossoms, Latin sounds from Siggno and country music from Eli Young Band.

General admission tickets that include concert access start at $12, senior public relations manager Mary Beth Bassett said. For a complete entertainment lineup, ticket purchases, inquiries for balcony access and places to stay, visit the Mardi Gras Galveston website.
The festival brings back a host of parades, dancing and live music for the 113th annual Mardi Gras celebration. (Courtesy Mardi Gras Galveston)
The features

Aside from live shows, several parades will take place over the course of the two-week festival, Bassett said. The Party Gras Procession starting and ending at The Tremont House kicks off the first day of programming, led by a brass band and honoring special guests with the George P. Mitchell award.

Later that evening, the Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade will take to the streets, with paraders dancing alongside the procession. In 2019, this parade broke records with 1,980 participants under the Mardi Gras Arch near the Tremont hotel.

Closing out the first night is the Mardi Gras Galveston parade that circles the Entertainment District with a group of nine festive floats throwing beads and trinkets to paraders on its sidewalks.
Paraders travel on foot and on floats through Galveston's historic downtown for the festival. (Courtesy Mardi Gras Galveston)
What else?

In addition to entertainment, attendees can either join or watch the Jolly Jester Jaunt, a 5K fun run where runners wear Mardi Gras-themed T-shirts, socks and jester hats. The race ends with free libations and a balcony party.
The 5K Fun Run returns this year and ends with free drinks. (Courtesy Mardi Gras Galveston)
Bassett also highlighted the Beads for Needs program, which will give a renewed purpose to the 3 million strands of beads thrown throughout the festival by using them to teach students at Ball High School how to repackage and sell the necklaces in an online storefront.

Beads will be collected in specified containers decorated by students in the Galveston ISD Art Program.