Barefoot Mardi Gras

Barefoot Mardi Gras 2014

Barefoot Mardi Gras Parade and Party March 1, 2014 on North Padre Island. Event benefits Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization. Parade starts at noon on beach down from Bob Hall Pier in Padre Balli Park.

Looking for a Texas style carnival atmosphere right on the beautiful beaches of Corpus Christi on North Padre Island, TX 78418 near Bob Hall Pier. You have found it – Barefoot Mardi Gras! Started and organized by Duane and Denis Ebert, the first parade was held in 2010.

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Beach parade starts at noon for Corpus Christi beach Mardi Gras on Padre Island. A beach Mardi Gras party is held the evening of the Mardi Gras beach parade. Tickets are $25.

Barefoot Mardi Gras Padre Island 78418

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Did you know?

Mardi Gras has three official colors

le violet – purple (justice), l’or – gold (power) and le vert – green (faith)


The Economics of Mardi Gras

Gulf Coast Towns Hope Carnival Replaces Some Income Lost During Oil Spill Summer, copyright 2010 Victoria Munt Rogers

Most people measure the success of Mardi Gras by the number of beads and other “throws” they collect. But others use a different measurement . . . cold hard cash.

Mardi Gras produces a lot more than hangovers. It produces large amounts of cash flow for several Gulf Coast cities. And most of those cities are seasonal tourist towns. Summer season, to be specific. But what happens after Labor Day, when tourists leave, and before Memorial Day, when they come back? Not much. Unless you have a big Mardi Gras celebration.

A prime example is Galveston, Texas. Mardi Gras was very minor there from 1945 till 1984. But in 1985, it was revived. Big time. During that first year, Mardi Gras tourists were measured in six figures. That was a huge change. Tourism during the two and a half week Carnival season, in the dead of winter, went from very little in 1984, to over two hundred thousand in 1985. Think the towns’ hotels and restaurants were happy?

That’s why George Mitchell, the Galveston oil billionaire, decide to relaunch the Galveston Mardi Gras tradition . . . to boost tourism during the dead season. So how much impact does Mardi Gras have on the Galveston economy? A 2004 report prepared by Doug McLeod, Chairman of the Galveston Mardi Gras Coalition, showed the 2004 event brought in $33 million in sales. That helps a lot of businesses get through the low season.

The economic impact of Mardi Gras isn’t just from tourist dollars, either. There is an entire sub-economy just for Mardi Gras. The krewes and mystic societies have parties not only during Mardi Gras, but year round. They’ve got to get the food, drink and entertainment for the parties from somewhere. Many krewes have royal balls where coming-of-age young ladies are presented to society – in expensive gowns, made locally. And the vast majority of krewes have at least one charity they support. Then there are the many floats. They have to be decorated every year. Got to buy the paint and paper somewhere. Unless you buy your float pre-made – yep, there’s also a whole industry that builds floats.

So the krewes pump money into their local economies before, during and after Fat Tuesday. Mr. McLeod was kind enough to share the annual budget of the Knights of Momus, the Galveston krewe to which he belongs. With their parties, ball and floats, the total budget is $500,000 a year. And that’s just one krewe. Galveston has at least 15. Now think how many New Orleans has. That’s a lot of local buying.

And don’t forget about how most of us measure Mardi Gras success . . . the throws we catch. Those things aren’t free. Most krewe members pay for those out of their own pocket. Some throws are typical cheap beads. Others are custom made beads specific to individual krewes and can cost several dollars apiece. And then there are other type throws. In Mobile, Moon Pies are traditional. Think the Moon Pie stock jumps a few dollars every Carnival? So the next time you grab a throw at a Mardi Gras parade, remember that you’re not just holding a neat necklace in your hands. You’re holding someone’s business!