2015 Soulard Mardi Gras Festivities
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 Fat Tuesday on February 17. Here are the top events and activities during the 2015 Soulard Mardi Gras.
1. Snowman Softball Tournament – January 17 – 18
Snow or Shine! One of the region’s premier winter softball tournaments returns for its fifth year to Central Fields in Forest Park. Entry fee is $150 per team. Over 90 teams participate for the title in their respective divisions. All proceeds form the tournament benefit the Police Athletic League
2. Family Winter Carnival – January 24
Enjoy a day of family-friendly Mardi Gras fun. Activities include arts and crafts, a Children’s Parade and more.
3. Wine Beer and Whiskey Taste – January 30
Spend the evening sampling beverages from around the world and chatting with industry experts including Chris Fletcher, Assistant Master Distiller at Jack Daniels. From 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., guests can enjoy complimentary samples of award-winning barbecue from Pappy’s, Bogart’s, Salt + Smoke, and Sugarfire. Music for the evening will be provided by Rockstar DJs.
4. Cajun Cook Off – January 31
Ten of the region’s best-known chefs will team with ten amateurs to compete for the title of 2015 Cajun Cook-Off Champion. Watch the chefs prepare their dishes, then it’s time to eat. Everyone who attends gets food, Bud Light and hurricanes.
5. Missouri Lottery 5k Run for Your Beads – Februrary 7
A 5K run Mardi Gras style complete with beer, hurricanes, and beads! Show up at the Soulard market park plaza appropriately festooned and ready to race your way through historic Soulard in an effort to claim the title of fastest reveler.
6. Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard – Februray 7 – 8
This unique self-guided tasting and pub crawl has become one of the most popular events of the Mardi Gras season. Every $25 Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard ticket includes one Southern Comfort drink voucher and six food vouchers. You choose the six dishes you wish to sample from a range of Cajun-inspired options, including andouille-stuffed mushrooms, creole crab cakes with smoked red pepper aioli, red beans and rice, barbecued shrimp with cheddar cheese and green chili grits, and bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Saturday attendees can enjoy complimentary trolley rides from one establishment to the next, guided as always by the world famous Soulard Trolley Tramps.
7. Beggin’ Pet Parade – Februray 8
The Guinness World Record holder for largest costumed pet parade in the world celebrates its 22nd birthday! Thousands of nattily festooned four-legged (and other animal friends) strut their stuff in 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 (9th and Lafayette) where the King and Queen of Barkus are crowned. Of course, the party continues after Coronation with a free concert at 9th and Lafayette next to Soulard Market.
8. Wiener Dog Derby – February 8
The longest-running dachshund derby in America is back for its 10th year. Enjoy the Sport of Weenies as wiener dogs compete in three age-based categories: Cocktail Weenies, Ballpark Franks, 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.
9. Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball -Februray 13
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. You’ve got to be there!!!!
10. Bud Light Grand Parade – Februray 14
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 Busch Stadium, makes its way into the heart of Soulard and ends at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
11. Fat Tuesday Parade – February 17
For those who just can’t get enough of Mardi Gras, this is the last hurrah. The Light up the Night Parade in downtown St. Louis lets you celebrate right up to the start of Lent. Some of the top floats from the Grand Parade will fill the streets as the crowds gather once again to party, listen to music and catch a few more beads.