7 Mardi Gras Events You Don't Want to Miss

 In Culture
Run for Your Beads 5K

Run for Your Beads 5k. Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras Inc. and River City Images 2013.

Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and it’s time to start the celebrations! From a 5K race to multiple dining experiences, a dog derby, parades, the next couple of weeks before Fat Tuesday are sure to be eventful.

Missouri Lottery Run for Your Beads 5K
Feb. 22, Starts at Fields Foods
While most runs offer water stations during the race, the Run for Your Beads 5K features hurricane and beer stations. Runners show off their best and most outlandish Mardi Gras clothing, deck themselves in beads and make their way through historic Soulard.

Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard
Feb. 22-23, Multiple Soulard Establishments
Don’t miss out on this unique food-and-drink experience that allows you to stop at some of Soulard’s best restaurants and bars to sample signature dishes and delicious Southern Comfort cocktails. On Saturday, there will also be complimentary trolley rides from pub to pub.

Beggin’ Pet Parade and PetSmart Wiener Dog Derby
Feb. 23, Downtown Soulard and Soulard Market Park
Hosted by television personality Andy Cohen and featuring an afternoon performance by Barenaked Ladies, the Beggin’ Pet Parade allows visitors to dress their pets in Mardi Gras garb and strut their stuff. Don’t miss the 18th annual PetSmart Wiener Dog Derby as dachshunds compete in three categories: Cocktail Weenies, Ballpark Franks and Hot Dogs.

Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball
Feb. 28, City Hall
On the eve of the Grand Parade, this social event will take place at City Hall and features entertainment, delicious food and desserts, dancing, costumes and a performance by Dr. Zhivegas.

Grand Parade
March 1, Starts at Busch Stadium and ends at Anheuser-Busch Brewery
Prepare for the weekend’s signature event; the Grand Parade will start at Busch Stadium and make its way all the way down to the brewery. Expect to see big floats, bands, bright costumes, plenty of beads and more.

Bud Light Party Tent and Bud Light Concerts
March 1, Soulard Market Park; 7th and Geyer & 9th and Geyer Stages
With an all-you-can-eat Cajun/Creole buffet, open bar, DJs and dancing, climate-controlled areas and more, the annual Bud Light Party Tent is a great way to celebrate the weekend’s festivities right in the heart of the Soulard neighborhood. Mardi Gras participants should not miss the free Bud Light Concerts with both local and national acts taking place on Saturday. The lineup will be announced soon—find it here.

Light Up the Night Fat Tuesday Parade
March 4, Washington Avenue
Starting at Washington Avenue and Broadway, the parade known as the “last call for Lent” gives people one last celebration on Fat Tuesday and finishes at 14th Street. Those who join or watch the parade should also check out the many food and drink specials going on at local bars and restaurants in the area.


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