Soulard Mardi Gras festivities include the world’s largest parade of costumed pets.


Densely packed with red-brick row houses, Soulard is one of the oldest – and most charming – residential neighborhoods in St. Louis.

Once part of the estate of Antoine and Julia Soulard, the neighborhood is also the city’s greatest lesson in historic preservation and urban redevelopment. After Antoine died, Julia began subdividing the property and selling lots, becoming the first female real estate developer west of the Mississippi River.

At the time, Julia gave two city blocks to the people of St. Louis with the stipulation that the land be used as a public market. Today, Soulard Farmers Market remains a cornerstone of the neighborhood, drawing thousands of residents and tourists alike to purchase fresh cuts of meat, aromatic herbs and spices and locally grown flowers, among other consumables. Some of the region’s most impressive makers also peddle their products – think extraordinarily flavored pickles, delicate macarons, superfood juices and individual Bundt cakes.

On the other end of Soulard, the Anheuser-Busch brewery features elaborate, red-brick buildings that reflect the German Romanesque style of architecture with rounded arches, embellished cornices and castellated rooflines. The interiors of the buildings boast equally beautiful details, and guests can tour the innovative space before taking a seat in the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and enjoying a cold one – on the house.

In between, you’ll find countless restaurants, bars, shops and galleries, many of which have comfortable outdoor courtyards, patios or sidewalk areas where you can take in more of the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Architecture buffs, keep an eye out for flounder houses – the rare and unique style originated in St. Louis in the 19th century and gets its name from the profile of the building when observed from the street or alley.

Soulard gives visitors the chance to experience living history – and have a blast doing so. On any given night, you can find a party powered by stiff drinks, live music and a jovial crowd, but for the biggest party of all, you’ll have to come for Mardi Gras.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the nation’s second largest Mardi Gras celebration takes place in Soulard, which means “drunkard” when translated from French to English. With boozy drinks and delectable eats, colorful beads and epic events – including the world’s largest parade of costumed pets – Mardi Gras in St. Louis will exceed your expectations.