It all started in 2009 as a backyard party with a group of friends with an excuse to celebrate. Eventually, the celebration grew as the neighborhood joined the festivities, complete with costumes to show their spirit. Each year, the gathering grew, starting with a parade around the neighborhood, and growing into a daytime parade on the beach with an evening King and Queen Ball.
Once that event maxed out capacity, the festivities were placed in the hands of the Padre Island Business Association to transform it into a grander celebration, and in 2016, the festival was expanded into an entire weekend of festivities, right on the beach.
A vibrant parade rolls out the festivities at 11:00 a.m. and is bursting with floats and golf carts decorated in shades of purple, green, and gold, with beads galore, feather boas, glitter, sequins, and even pets dressed up like people. It lasts about an hour and a half, runs along a mile-long route, and shows true community pride and celebration.
The daytime festivities, including free arts and crafts and building sandcastles are family-friendly, but the big evening event, the King and Queen Ball, is adults only.
Mardi Gras is about being true and authentic, and with temperatures in the 70’s and abundant sunshine, this beachside celebration of Mardi Gras is a brilliant and natural fit for the Gulf Coast Capital.