You probably already know about the Mardi Gras celebrations that take place in Louisiana.
But did you know that Southeast Texas also offers opportunities to experience Mardi Gras in Texas with a Tex-Mex Cajun flair?
This article is brought to you in partnership with Visit Beaumont. This article contains affiliate links.
Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas was formerly held in Port Arthur for nearly 30 years. The Mardi Gras festivities have moved to Beaumont, Texas allowing more space and infrastructure to grow in the coming years.
Beaumont is excited to expand the Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas for years to come, getting even better each year!
I was joined by Deb Thompson from Just Short Of Crazy to experience the First Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas in Beaumont.
When is Mardi Gras in Southeast Texas?
The Mardi Gras festivities take place Thursday late afternoon/evening -Sunday the weekend before Fat Tuesday.
Make sure that you check the schedule for the events and arrive early because they could be adjusted for the weather.
Mardi Gras in Southeast Texas Concerts and Carnival
You can expect carnival rides and a variety of concerts from musical acts that appeal to a wide range of ages and genres of music.
The headliners for the first inaugural Mardi Gras in Southeast Texas in Beaumont were Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc.
If you want to enjoy the concerts and see above the crowds, opt for the large mound to the right side of the stage. This is a great area to put down a blanket to watch the concerts.
How to Save on Carnival Rides and Admission at Mardi Gras Southeast Texas
For the best value on State Fair Carnival Rides, purchase a FUNPASS in advance at the Mardi Gras store.
The FUNPASS provides unlimited rides any one day of your choice.
*There is no gate admission fee to enter the carnival grounds.
If you plan on attending the Mardi Gras Festival all 4 days, the best value is the multiday pass that can be purchased online.
Relax in the Event Center
For the 21+ crowd, the event center is a great place to enjoy live music, relax at a table, and have access to the restroom facilities that are not porta-potties.
*Tickets to this area were given by Del Papa Distribution Company and Mardi Gras for sponsors, supporters, friends, and other individuals who came to the door when capacity allowed.
Food and Booth Vendors at Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas
There are plenty of food vendors on-site at the festival. Be prepared to wait in line for a bit for the really popular ones.
If you want to bring home a souvenir, there are lots of vendors on site selling a wide variety of items.
Foodies will want to stay in town for the Taste of the Triangle event on Fat Tuesday with tastings from local restaurants and beverage companies.
Is Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas in Beaumont Family Friendly?
Yes! There are rides, parades, and there is even a free Kid Zone where all of the attractions are free.
If you have younger kids the daytime activities are a great time to visit the Mardi Gras festival and parades.
If younger kids need to burn off some extra energy, there is a nearby playground on the festival grounds.
Experience Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas Parades Day and Night
I highly recommend experiencing more than one Mardi Gras parade in Beaumont. Each parade has a unique vibe and it’s really fun to watch the floats lit up at night too.
The parades in downtown Beaumont are free to attend, activities inside the festival do require a ticket.
Tips for Attending Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas Parades in Beaumont
- Arrive early -You’ll need to allow extra time for finding parking and a spot along the parade route.
- Street parking is relatively easy to find if you are willing to walk a few blocks.
- Use the schedule as a guide but be prepared that parades or events could start earlier.
- Dress in Layers- Depending on the weather and time of day, it’s best to be overprepared so that you don’t get too cold.
- Bring noise-canceling headphones or earplugs for sensitive ears and younger kids.
- If you are watching the parade with younger kids or older kids, foldable chairs can help hold your spot.
- Strollers and wagons are great places to store excess beads, water, and snacks.
- Don’t forget your phone and a portable charger
- Bring an umbrella for your baby- You can use it for protection against the sun or rain. You can also use an umbrella to shield your child from being accidentally pelted by beads.
Ride a Mardi Gras Float If You Are Given the Opportunity
If you are fortunate enough to get an opportunity to ride on a Mardi Gras float, do it!
The view from a Mardi Gras float provides you with a unique perspective and
There is nothing better than making eye contact with someone in the crowd and watching them catch your beads
Can You Recycle Your Mardi Gras Beads?
Let’s be honest, not all beads are created equal.
It’s really exciting to catch beads in the moment, but what can you do with your unwanted beads after Mardi Gras?
Check if there is interest from your local schools, libraries, and thrift stores for bead donations. Many organizations in communities around New Orleans have started recycling programs.
There are also many organizations that use beads for programs with the disabled and military.
Celebrate the Mardi Gras Season With A King Cake From Rao’s Bakery
With multiple locations around the city, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a local Beaumont favorite that’s the oldest bakery in Southeast Texas.
Rao’s Bakery sells 8000-12,000 King Cakes each Mardi Gras season. They also ship around 1000 King Cakes each season in case you are craving one and can’t make it to the bakery.
You’ll also find plenty of other pastries, cookies, and delicious cakes to choose from.
Where to Stay in Beaumont, Texas for Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas
When it comes to planning your stay, the sooner the better. The earlier that you can book your hotel, the more options you’ll have to choose from.
There are lots of hotel options if you are visiting from out of town or if you want to stay close to all of the events.
You can save on your stay using
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