Pensacola Mardi Gras 2023 in Florida
Due to its French roots, Pensacola, Florida hosts one of the oldest and largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. Several colorful parades, lots of live music, laughter and jokes await visitors during the celebration. Extravagant parades, with many decorated floats, are presented by the Penascole krewes so get your pearls and doubloons ready! The festivities also include special dinners, chili cookouts, balls and charity events that last from January 6 through Ash Wednesday.
Pensacola Mardi Gras has been celebrated since 1874, making it one of the oldest in the United States. Food is one of the main attributes of the holiday. In addition to okra, King Cakes, Pensacola locals have a thing for Moonpie, a marshmallow pie dipped in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry icing. The main carnival characters are a king, a queen and a royal court. The parades feature around 250 floats, marching bands and dance teams, totaling around 6,000 people. Being one of the biggest parties in the Gulf of Mexico Coast, Pensacola Mardi Gras is attended by 100,000 people.
Major Pensacola Mardi Gras events include the annual Krewe of Lafitte Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Pensacola which begins at Spring & Garden streets. From 7:30 p.m., it is the only illuminated night parade in the city. Beautiful lighted floats, marching bands and music are sure to keep you entertained. Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade is the city’s major event that begins at 2 p.m. and lasts about four hours. A family celebration begins at Spring & Garden Streets. The parade ends with street parties on the promenade with music and dancing.