Mardi Gras 2016 In St. Louis

2824 days ago.
Soulard Mardi Gras 2016 in St. Louis


Mardi Gras 2016 in St. Louis officially begins this Wednesday with the annual 12th night celebration and concludes on February 9 with Fat Tuesday.

12th Night is celebrated around the world as the start of the “Carnivale Season”. When Fat Tuesday ends that season, Ash Wednesday begins Lent and brings us into the glorious Friday Fish Frys  that lead to Easter Sunday.

The 2016 Carnivale Season is even shorter than last year’s with the many events put on by Mardi Gras Inc. happening in the span of a little over a month.

Soulard Mardi Gras’s Twelfth Night celebration is marked by the official 2016 Mardi Gras announcement on the steps of Johnny’s at 1017 Russell, where the Mardi Gras celebration in St. Louis began back 1979.

Soulard Mardi Gras 2016
The official Mardi Gras poster for the 2016 Soulard Mardi Gras festival.

After 12th Night, the season’s first big event takes place on Saturday, January 9 in Soulard Market Park under the Bud Light Party Centre tent. The Family Winter Carnival will offer plenty of family-friendly activities from Noon – 4 PM. There will be bounce houses, face-painting and plenty of arts and crafts stations. There will also be fire trucks and police vehicles on hand for the kiddos to explore.

The flagship event of the season is the Bud Light Grand Parade. This year, Grand Parade Day falls on Saturday, February 6th with the theme for this year’s parade being “Celebrating America’s Best Sports Town”. The parade steps off from Busch Stadium at 11 a.m. and ends at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. St. Louis Blues legend and current executive vice president Brett Hull will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal.

After the parade, the party spreads out throughout the Soulard neighborhood. Many revelers walk around the neighborhood or attend get-togethers at houses throughout Soulard. One ticketed option is the Bud Light Party Tent in Soulard Market Park.

The night before the Grand Parade, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay throws the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball at City Hall. The Mardi Gras Masquerade is a black tie affair with plenty of food, drinks, live music and dancing. Tickets start at $150 per person. Tables are also available.

The weekend before the Grand Parade features some more great fun in Soulard. The Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard runs on Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31.  For $25, you receive a booklet with six food vouchers and one Southern Comfort drink voucher. Use those to create your own pub crawl around St. Louis’s most historic neighborhood while sampling the delicious food Soulard has to offer.

Sunday, January 31 also brings us the annual Beggin’ Pet Parade. The event, now in its 23rd year, set a Guinness World Record in 2012 for Most Dogs In Costumed Attire. Starting three years ago, the event also began featuring a concert after the parade. The first musical act was the Bacon Brothers featuring actor Kevin Bacon. Barenaked Ladies followed the next year and Blues Traveler took the stage last year in the event’s 22nd year. Tony La Russa also served as the Grand Marshall of last year’s parade. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal will be the Grand Marshal of the Beggin’ Pet Parade this year. The popular Wiener Dog Derby is also held in Soulard Market Park after the Beggin’ Pet Parade.

Michael and Kevin Bacon of The Bacon Brothers perform at the 2013 Purina Beggin’ Pet Parade as part of the Soulard Mardi Gras season.


One of my favorite events each year is the Wine, Beer and Whiskey Taste. For several years the event was held in the rotunda at St. Louis City Hall, but was moved back to Soulard last year. Tickets for the January 22 event are available in advance for $40 or can be bought at the door for $50. Your tickets includes unlimited samples of “over 50 beers, wines and whiskeys”. Food samples from area restaurants are also included. Chefs from around St. Louis will compete on January 23 at the Cajun Cook-Off. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door and include an open bar of Bud Light, Southern Comfort Hurricanes and soft drinks as well as a Tony Chachere’s Fully Dressed Po’ Boy and Jambalaya.

Other events happening in the 2016 Mardi Gras season are the Snowman Softball Tournament in Forest Park on January 16 & 17 and the Missouri Lottery Run For Your Beads 5K through the streets of Soulard on January 30.

Mardi Gras 2016 In St. Louis Calendar

Here’s the full calendar for the 2016 Mardi Gras season in St. Louis

St. Louis mascots Fredbird, of the St. Louis Cardinals and Rampage, of the St. Louis Rams, take a moment before the 2014 Bud Light Grand Parade to get their picture taken in front of a Budweiser Clydesdale
St. Louis mascots Fredbird, of the St. Louis Cardinals and Rampage, of the St. Louis Rams, take a moment before the 2014 Bud Light Grand Parade to get their picture taken in front of a Budweiser Clydesdale

January 6: 12th Night

January 9: Family Winter Carnival

January 16 & 17: Snowman Softball Tournament

January 22: Wine, Beer And Whiskey Taste

January 23: Cajun Cook-Off

Januar 30: Missouri Lottery Run For Your Beads 5K

January 30 & 31: Southern Comfort Taste Of Soulard

January 31: Beggin’ Pet Parade

February 31: Wiener Dog Derby

February 5: Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball

February 6: Bud Light Grand Parade

For more information on Mardi Gras in St. Louis, head over to or Be sure to tag your Mardi Gras-related tweets with #stlmg

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Ryan is a weird dude. He doesn't cook, yet owns a plethora of kitchen gadgets. He rationalized buying a SodaStream while unemployed. He counts Step Up 2: The Streets as one of his favorite movies along with Footloose, Rent, Grease and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He loves Mizzou but only wants them in the SEC so he can tailgate in Nashville. He owns a ShakeWeight and AbLounger, but still loves him some John Donut and Billie's Fine Foods. You can get more of Ryan at or just check the stool on the far end of the bar at iTap in Soulard.

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