"Carnival on the Coast" is an exciting season for the young to the old, locals, & visitors! Elaborately decorated floats throw "treasures" (trinkets like beads, stuffed animals, logoed cups, doubloons, food items called "Moon Pies" and more) to eager bystanders! "Throw Me Something Mister" is a familiar phrase yelled out by on lookers to the carnival "Krewes" on the floats as they pass by hoping to "scoop" up some of these exciting items! On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, there are 23 parades, with Harrison County holding 14 of the Mardi Gras celebrations - the MOST on the Gulf Coast; Jackson County hosts 4 parades & Hancock County 5 parades. The Mardi Gras Season attracts over 450,000 people every year and continues to grow in popularity. Harrison County parades held in Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, & Biloxi - Mississippi.
In 1908, the Gulf Coast Carnival Association was the first Krewe to parade on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with 17 floats. Today there are 23 parades, a long way from one parade with 17 floats, with each parade having 20 or more floats! In 2005, Hurricane Katrina slowed the celebration, but did not stop the carnival season. The party continued even under adverse conditions with each city holding smaller versions of their parades. With the addition of two new parades in 2009, and in 2011 the Long Beach Carnival Association Parade making its debut as an evening parade, the coast continues "Carnival on the Coast" with the party getting bigger & better every year!
**Awarded American Bus Association (ABA) Top 100 Events 2003!
**Awarded Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Top 20 Winter Event 2010, 2011 & 2013!
Upcoming Mardi Gras Dates:
- 2014 - March 4
- 2015 - February 17
- 2016 - February 9
- 2017 - February 28
- 2018 - February 13
- 2019 - March 5
- 2020 - February 25
- 2021 - February 16
Mardi Gras Trivia: The March 9th and February 3rd dates are extra special, because those dates only occur once in a lifetime, each occurring roughly once every 100-150 years. The next date of March 9 is the year 2038. The closest many of us will see the Holiday to that date, in our lifetime, was 2000, and will hopefully again in 2011, when Mardi Gras will occur on March 8th. On the other end of the spectrum, Very few of us will see the next February 3 date, which is 2285! February 5th was the earliest this century, which occurred in 2008, the next one that early will be in 2160!