Everyone knows Louisiana is the #1 destination to celebrate Mardi Gras.  But, what if you live in Louisiana and you want to celebrate the holiday somewhere else?

Top 5 Places To Celebrate Mardi Gras Outside Louisiana:

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1.  Galveston, Texas

The Mardi Gras celebration in Galveston is the 3rd largest in the U.S.  300,000 people are expected to descend on the small island and party!  It features more than 30 concerts, 22 parades, 20 balcony parties, and five masked balls.  On Fat Tuesday evening, the final parade goes through the downtown and includes eight marching bands and all of the parading Krewes.

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2.  St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside Louisiana.  The festivities are kicked off with a Cajun style cook off.  They mayor holds a classy Mardi Gras Ball at City Hall.  The festival's grand parade happens on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday, when the final event, Fat Bluesday, takes place.

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3.  Gulf Coast, Mississippi

This celebration is huge and draws tons of party goers.  It includes 20 parades that happen every Mardi Gras. A few of the parades have been around for more than 40 years, like the Ocean Springs-Elks Mardi Gras Parade and the Pass Christian Mardi Gras Parade (which has been around for more than 80 years).   The Discovery Center also offers Gumbo cooking classes and they also teach people how to cook southern classic dishes.

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4.  Mobile, Alabama

Mobile is known to be the oldest Mardi Gras Celebration in the U.S.  They've been celebrating Carnaval since 1703, even before New Orleans was founded.  There you'll find the Mobile Carnival Museum, where you can learn about the art of costume design and float decoration, as well as the traditions and history of Mardi Gras.

5.  San Diego, California

San Diego's event is a one day only party for people 21 or over.  The event was voted one of the "Top 10 Mardi Gras Events to Attend" by USA Today and is hosted in the Historic Gaslamp District.  The streets are blocked off from 5 p.m. until midnight and feature a number of bands, DJs, a Big Easy Parade, and plenty of drinks.

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Other cities that get honorable mention Mardi Gras honors:

  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • San Francisco, California
  • LaCrosse, Wisconsin