Gearing up for big parade on Galveston Island

GALVESTON – Galveston Island is gearing up for a party like none other.

Many on the island are preparing for Saturday evening’s Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade that will travel from the seawall down to the Strand.

“We were just gonna come down and look around because we haven’t been here to see the downtown and found out there’s Mardi Gras,” said Mary Ann Kelly, who is visiting from Alaska.

Many on the island ahead of the festivities said this is a party you can’t miss.

“It’s very big. I like it for the beads and the King cake,” said Taylor Aiken.

But more than taking in the sights and sounds of a Mardi Gras parade, the festival also means big bucks for the island.

Businesses like the Black Pearl Oyster Bar, not far from the Strand, will be cashing in with the extra foot traffic.

“Mardi Gras is a huge festival here on the island. Last week, the numbers were outrageous,” said the general manager Anna Cisneros.

More than 300,000 people are expected to come to the Galveston this Mardi Gras season. Last year, Mardi Gras generated $15 million for the city, according to the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

No doubt this year should prove just as profitable.

“A big extravaganza. Plenty of beads. They will not run out, I guarantee it. Y’all come on down,” said tourist Sycina Townsend.

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