The Pensacola Mardi Gras is among the most renowned celebrations of its kind in the entire United States. Held over the course of two weeks, it features balls and other kinds of parties, and it's all capped off by a wonderful parade. Downtown Pensacola is the typical parade site, and the event is slated to take place rain or shine.
As is true of other popular Mardi Gras celebrations in the US, such as the one that is held in New Orleans, various Krewes play a big role in the Pensacola Mardi Gras. These groups host the majority of the Mardi Gras related events, including the Pensacola Mardi Gras Parade and numerous side parties. You can arrange your own Krewe if you please and apply for a role in the parade. All you have to do is fill out the necessary application, pay the required fees, and get your fun-loving group together. Floats can actually be rented if you need some help in that department, though you might just prefer taking on more of a spectator's role, which is what most tourists prefer.
Parts of Spring, Garden, and Palafox streets are used to form the Pensacola Mardi Gras Parade route in case you are looking to get a good spot. Free parking near these avenues is available, and you can also opt to pay for parking in a nearby parking lot.
It should be noted that main Pensacola Mardi Gras parade isn't the only parade that you can hope to attend. There are smaller parades on the day before the main parade and the day after, with the day after event hitting the streets of Pensacola Beach. The Pensacola Mardi Gras on the whole is known for being more family friendly than most Mardi Gras events that you will find elsewhere in the world, it should be noted, and you might find it interesting that Moon Pies are among the things that are thrown from the floats. These marshmallow and graham cracker treats are actually tossed from many a Mardi Gras float in the Gulf Coast.
The events that relate to the Pensacola Mardi Gras aren't limited to balls and parades. One of the other main things that figures on the annual schedule is the Priscus Procession. Held on Fat Tuesday, this event includes the Mardi Gras King and Queen coronation and a pub crawl. The King and Queen coronation ceremony typically kicks off at around 6:30 p.m., and as for the pub crawl, numerous trolleys are used to move partygoers from area to area, and the whole procession is escorted by the police. Concerts are also among the numerous events, and you can be sure that most bars around town will be jumping on a nightly basis.
One of the great things about attending the Pensacola Mardi Gras is the fact that you will have other tempting options for things to do when you're not celebrating. Visiting Fort Pickens is just one option, and on most winter days, you can tee it up for a round at one of the Pensacola golf courses. This Florida Panhandle city is a popular vacation destination for a reason. There is simply something for everyone, and most of the attractions can be enjoyed throughout the year.