Home Entertainment Local Pulse’s Mardi Gras Season Bucket List!

Local Pulse’s Mardi Gras Season Bucket List!

Local Pulse's Weekend Top 10 is a weekly column featuring 10 of the weekend's top events. This week in lieu of the weekend's events, we are featuring 10 Pensacola Mardi Gras Bucket List items. Print this list and check them off as you go!

Members of the Krewe of Hip Huggers are groovy baby at a parade! Photo: Jody Link

Les dates de Mardi Gras…y’all! 

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The most famous Mardi Gras celebration is in New Orleans, but the entire Gulf Coast recognizes this season of revelry and celebration with tons of great food, traditions, and parades!

With the birthplace of American Mardi Gras just an hour to the west in Mobile, Alabama, the Mardi Gras culture permeates all aspects of life on the coast in the 45 days before Easter, concluding on Fat Tuesday. 

Pensacola honors the traditions and culture quite well starting with 12th Night and the Blessing of the Floats happening this weekend. Check out the other Pensacola Mardi Gras events that should be on your bucket list!

BLESSING OF THE FLOATS – 12TH NIGHT CELEBRATION –  Starting at 5 p.m. at Seville Quarter on Saturday, Jan. 6th. It’s the twelfth night of Christmas, but the first night of Mardi Gras! The 2024 Publix Pensacola Mardi Gras season marks the 13th year for the OFFICIAL Publix Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Night Celebration. A Priest will give a blessing over the floats and the party will commence!

FIND THAT BABY! We’ve got local bakeries that bake fresh authentic King Cake and other locations that will bring King Cake from New Orleans. Regardless of whether you purchase one or try your hand at making it, you hope to find the baby in your slice! What baby you ask? Our king cake has its roots in French galette des rois, which is a pastry filled a charm and frangipane, a sweet almond creme filling. The baby represents the baby Jesus and is served on the Epiphany, January 6. The person who finds the baby is said to have good luck and prosperity ahead. It also means you are King or Queen of the party, but have to bring the next King Cake! Yes, I capitalized this sacred delicacy. Also, for those not from these parts – once you cut the cake, you leave the knife in the box. It is the 11th commandment. 

MARDI GRAS MAMBO Pensacola Mardi Gras Foundation, Inc. (PMG) is proud to announce that Flo Rida will be headlining the inaugural Pensacola Mardi Gras Mambo on Friday, January 26th, at the Pensacola Bay Center. Doors will open at 6:30 pm with full beverages and Mardi Gras-themed food available inside. All ages are welcome, and Mardi Gras Krewes are encouraged to come in Krewe attire. This exciting new Mardi Gras event with dance and celebration at the Pensacola Bay Center is being produced by Pensacola Mardi Gras Foundation, Inc., and includes support from a grant by Pensacola’s Tourist Development Council and the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners. Tickets here: https://pensacolamardigras.com/pensacola-mardi-gras-mambo/

PAWDI GRAS Krewe of Hip Huggers and WolfGang will host the 3rd Annual Pensacola Pawdi Gras was created to add to Pensacola’s amazing Mardi Gras events and adds a way for families to include their pups as the guest of honor. Filled with vendors, music, paw-rade, costume contest, and much more, this event is one for the entire family and their dog to enjoy. The event also helps raise funds and awareness for local animals in need and this year’s benefactor is The Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare. We look forward to welcoming you and your 4-legged best friends for this annual event that is all about the pups of Pensacola! Free to the public to attend the event. Everyone who plans to participate in the pawrade to register their pet and make the suggested $15 to the shelter. More information here: https://www.wolfgangparkandbrews.com/pawdigras-registration

JAMABALYA CRAWFISH PIE ME OH MY OH You cannot let Mardi Gras season slip by without eating some great south Louisiana cuisine. There are so many great restaurants in the Pensacola area that serve a taste of Louisiana starting with Cafe Nola in Pensacola and Where Y’at Seafood Market & Restaurant in Navarre! The folks over at Pensacola Foodies are repeatedly recommending Slick Lips for gumbo. For a full list of offerings, hit that Pensacola Foodies search menu and see what the locals recommend.

THROW ME SOMETHIN’ MISTER There are several great parades, starting with…

The Pirates of Lost Treasure Flotilla in Perdido Key on January 20! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064378166225 This year’s theme for the flotilla is “Yes I Am A Pirate,” in tribute to Jimmy Buffett. For more information on registering your boat or viewing spots, including places like Sunset Grille, click here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=760179462804652&set=a.555607483261852

Friday, February 9, The Krewe of Lafitte Illuminated Parade from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. downtown. 

Saturday, February 10, The Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. downtown. 

Sunday, February 11, The Krewe of Wrecks Beach Parade from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Pensacola Beach. 

For more details on each of these parades, visit: https://pensacolamardigras.com/

MARCH IN A PARADE! THE KIDS AND KRITTERS PARADE is January 20 at 1:30 pm. It’s a Mardi Gras walking procession for people and pets! Registration opens at noon. Wear a costume and bring beads to throw. The parade entry fee for pets is $10 each. Kids are free. Prizes for best-costumed pet and best mini float made from a wagon or stroller. There is no charge for spectators. Bring your chair, catch beads, and watch the cutest parade you have ever seen. The Dancingly Yours Pre-parade show starts at 1:30 p.m. Parade starts at 2 p.m. on Pensacola Beach. For more information, click here: https://www.facebook.com/PensacolaBeachMardiGras/

JOIN A KREWE A Krewe is a social organization that stages parades, hosts parties and balls, and in many cases supports local non-profit groups through fundraising and volunteerism. Some Krewes have royalty, signature throws, and dedicated themes named after Greek gods and goddesses or the sixties, like the Krewe of Hip Huggers. The membership and joining process is private for some Krewes, but open and welcoming for others. If you are interested in joining a Krewe, scroll through the different options here or create your own! https://pensacolamardigras.com/krewes/

GO TO A BALL The most unique ball in town is the Cordova Mall Ball! Dress in your favorite Mardi Gras ball gown and tux for a party inside the mall. Over 2,000 guests come each year to dance, eat, Photo Booth, and have fun while raising money for the Studer Family Children’s Hospital Ascension Sacred Heart. To buy tickets, visit: https://pensacolamardigras.com/info/cordova-mall-ball/

Other balls are listed on Krewe websites and may or may not be open to the public.

FAT TUESDAY FUN at Seville Quarter on Tuesday, February 13 at 5:00 p.m. Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season and always the day before Ash Wednesday. The literal translation for Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, the day when you would use up all the fats in the home before beginning your restricted Lenten diet. 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Each week The Dog House brings you this awesome list to make sure your entertainment ideas are easy and at your fingertips!

The Dog House is bringing High STAX poker back on Wednesday Nights! In case you missed it, The Dog House is open late night on Wednesdays!

Featuring craft cocktails, burgers, seafood, and LIVE Poker Night. Open to the public and registration is FREE!

Make plans to stop in for a quick round of poker or something to eat.

30 S Palafox St., Downtown Pensacola, 32502

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Dana is an Arkansas native and a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast since childhood. She was a Pensacola resident for 13 years, before moving to Gulf Breeze. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!). In addition to writing, she loves photography, art, adventures in the great outdoors, and spending time with her three children.