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How did the St Louis Mardi Gras get its start?

February 22, 2022

How did the St Louis Mardi Gras get its start?

Bryan Vogt here. It’s that time of year again for Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, which is actually what Mardi gras means in French, to hit the streets of St Louis! The parade and festivals will be held on Feb 26th with the parade starting at 11 o’clock. The St Louis Mardi Gras is considered one of the largest festivals in the country with 100’s of thousands of people attending. Second only to the one in New Orleans in size! This year as always it will be held in Soulard in St Louis. Which really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Since Soulard translates to “drunkard” in French!
So how did the St Louis Mardi Gras get started? As the story goes there was a group of drunken friends who weren’t happy with the bar they were at and started walking down Soulard to find another one! However, during their walk, they started throwing beads at young ladies. And I won’t be going into that tradition on this episode. And from that one event, the idea was picked up by bars in Soulard, and in the early 80’s they started hosting Mardi Gras events.
Over the decades the Mardi Gras has become the party event of the year! With people driving hundreds of miles to attend! It boasts one of the largest parades in the country along with several other attractions. What many people may not know is how many civic and charity clubs work at the event to raise money for the different charities that they support throughout the year. For the past 10 years, I have worked in a booth for just such charities. However, if you have never been to the Mardi gras before. You might want to leave the kids at home. It’s much more of a grown-up party!
So this Saturday the fun begins! If you’re looking for an amazing parade along with people being dressed in costumes the likes you may never have seen. Come on out and have some fun at the party of the year!

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Until the next episode. Have a happy Mardi Gras!

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