GALVESTON – Break out the beads! Mardi Gras is back in Galveston!
Two weeks of celebrations kicked off Friday bringing revelers, and revenue back to the island.
“I’m so pumped up! I’m glad we are able to do this again,” Taylor Aiken said.
There is something for everyone to enjoy at the traditional festival. There’s everything from headliner concerts, food stands, businesses, and those famous green, gold, and purple beads.
“It’s really a great opportunity to celebrate. There’s a lot of fun that goes on during the next two weeks,” Michael Woody, Chief Tourism Officer for Galveston Island said.
COVID stopped the celebration from happening in 2021, but this year, vendors spent the day getting the big party ready.
“We’re excited. We are really excited,” Anita Torres said.
Michael Woody is the Chief Tourism Officer for Galveston Island and said they’re expecting about 300,000 people to visit the area in the next two weeks, bringing in some big money.
“A typical year for Mardi Gras brings in about $15 million in visitor spending, which happens over the course of those two weeks -- from a hotel perspective. For restaurants and retail, just a lot of opportunity to drive business into the community,” Woody said.
The traditional festival is something businesses along the Strand are excited about.
Workers at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory have already seen an uptick in customers.
“On Monday, I saw campers setting up for the weekend, and they will probably be here for the next couple of weeks. Traffic has been insane, so it’s starting to come to life again,” Brandon Quiroga said.
The Prichard family stumbled onto the island from Canada and can’t wait to experience Mardi Gras for the first time.
“We are very excited,” the family said.
The party has something for everyone so, ‘Let the good times roll’.
“We are excited to get life back to normal and to be able to enjoy Mardi Gras,” Torres said.
Organizers say it takes about 5,400 employees to put on the big event and it feels good to see things getting back to normal.
“And to be at a fun event like this, it’s all outdoors, it’s an opportunity to make your own space. But I think for us, it’s just really exciting to have the people on the island have this kind of fun and festivities going on. It’s something that’s fun for the whole family,” Woody said.
To learn more about Mardi Gras Galveston and to see a full list of events, click here!