A Charter Bus Rental—The Best Way to Enjoy Mardi Gras 2019
Mark your calendars—March 5, 2019—that’s “Fat Tuesday (the literal translation of Mardi Gras).” It’s the culmination of a month of festivities leading up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Though New Orleans is considered by many to be the epicenter of the celebrations around Fat Tuesday, the American tradition actually started in Mobile, Alabama, and there are big-time parties across the country, but particularly in the South. Galveston, Texas and Pensacola, Florida both host rollicking Mardi Gras festivals.
Why not join in the fun!! But Mardi Gras is a time of revelry, a time to let your hair down and enjoy some of the local spirits. You don’t want to have to worry about navigating your way there and back, and you certainly don’t want to miss some of the fun because you don’t want to drink and get behind the wheel of a car. There’s a great way to get the most out of Mardi Gras—on a charter bus from BusRental.com. We’ll handle all the details while you enjoy your time with friends and family.
The Origins of Mardi Gras
Taken from the French, Mardi (Tuesday) Gras (fat) really refers to a season, rather than a specific date, though it always culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first official day of Lent. Also known as “Shrovetide,” Mardi Gras can start as early as the feast of the Epiphany, celebrated on January 6. It’s typically considered a time for enjoying food and beverages before the ritual fasting that’s customarily a part of Lent. In Mobile, though, where Mardi Gras started in 1703, there are Mardi Gras-related events as early as November of the preceding year.
In many other countries, the celebration is referred to as “Carnival,” rather than Mardi Gras. Carnival originated during the Middle Ages and was viewed as a final period of feasting and celebration, so that participants would have a more meaningful understanding of the sacrifices that came with Lent. Most Mardi Gras celebrations have embraced the spirit of revelry associated with Carnival, with massive parades, outlandish costumes, music, dance, food and adult beverages. Carnival and Mardi Gras emerged in primarily Catholic cultures, but now are somewhat universal celebrations.
The Best Mardi Gras Celebrations in 2019
New Orleans. You can’t go wrong by celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Dubbed “the greatest free show on Earth, New Orleans Mardi Gras is unlike anything you will experience anywhere else. Just watching the parade will likely leave you with a lifetime of memories. Under the rules of Mardi Gras, you can’t be on one of the parade’s floats without a mask. As a consequence, participants go to great lengths to come up with the most unique and outlandish facial covers. While you’re there, stop by a crawfish boil, get some of the world’s best gumbo, and make certain you get a piece of King Cake—but be careful when you bite into the cake—there are almost always hidden treasures, such as beans or even plastic babies. You can also carry your cocktails with you, as there’s no “open container” law in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
Mobile. This Gulf Coast Alabama city hosted the first U.S. Mardi Gras party more than 300 years ago and it’s still one of the top places in the country to let it all hang out before Lent. While it’s still a party, the revelers are a bit more reserved in Mobile…think deep South gentility at the core. It’s a little more of a family-friendly environment, with less of the debauchery that New Orleans sees. In Mobile, it’s a tradition for folks riding on parade floats to lambast the crowd with Moon Pies—for the unfamiliar, that’s a Southern confection that’s similar to a S’more—marshmallow sandwiched between graham crackers and customarily dipped in chocolate. One of the unique events of Mobile’s Mardi Gras is the Goat Man Parade, where riders on floats throw a wide assortment of trinkets—cookies, whistles, marbles and beads—at parade-goers. There’s also the coronation of King Felix III and the crowning of King Elexis I.
Galveston, Texas. The festivities in this Gulf of Mexico city south and east of Houston start on February 22 and build in intensity to Fat Tuesday. City officials estimate that more than 3 million beads will be tossed from balconies overlooking the Mardi Gras parade route along the Seawall and the Strand. There’s a parade almost every day (22 in all) and lots of great food, from beignets and boudin to local Tex-Mex favorites. There’s a gate fee to get into the Mardi Gras downtown district, but no additional fees for parades or concerts—the Galveston Mardi Gras typically includes about 30 concerts.
St. Louis, Missouri. You probably never thought of this great Midwestern city as a mecca for Mardi Gras revelers, but remember who the first Europeans were here—French fur traders. Most people associate the fleur-de-lis symbol with New Orleans, but it’s the city seal for St. Louis, too. One of the highlights of the St. Louis Mardi Gras celebration is the Beggin’ Barkus Pet Parade, the largest such affair in North America. The city known as the “Gateway to the West” has one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations anywhere, with a number of culinary events, as well as beer tents and beer tastings. There are many parades, kicked off by the Bud Light Grand Parade in mid-February.
We Have the Right Coach for You
Whether you’re headed to Mardi Gras with a few friends of family or with a big group, we can match you with the right coach for all your needs. For groups of up to 12 people, our Executive Sprinter Van is ideal, with plush seating and lots of room for your personal items, as well as souvenirs. If your group is a little larger, consider riding in one of our mini-buses, which seat 24 to 35 people, and typically come with a wide assortment of modern conveniences. But you can take as many people as you want to Mardi Gras—our largest buses have room for up to 57 and multiple bus rentals are always an option. In addition, if you want the whole trip to be one big Mardi Gras party, check out our party buses, which can come with wet bars, dance floors and high-end stereo setups.
Nothing Beats Traveling by Charter Bus
When you’re traveling with a group, you won’t find a better option than a charter bus:
- It’s the safest way to travel—Our drivers are the best in the world, with extensive and regular training to help prepare them for an eventuality. In addition, because there’s only one way on and off the bus, you’ll be able to limit access, so that you and your personal items will always be secure.
- It’s the most reliable way to travel—Because our coaches are carefully maintained, mechanical problems are virtually nonexistent. We also have the tools to help us learn about any potential roadway problems, so that we can make any necessary changes to get you where you want to be when you want to be there.
- Your vacation will actually be a vacation!!—With most vacations, there’s still a lot of work involved—checking the map, finding a place to park, fighting traffic. Charter bus travel, on the other hand, may be the most stress-free, undemanding way you’ve ever traveled. We’ll handle all the driving and take responsibility to get you where you need to go when you need to be there. You will ride on the same coach throughout your trip, so you won’t have to worry about missing a connection or losing your luggage. There’s no TSA line, so you won’t have to take your shoes off, unless you want to kick back for a while. You won’t have to disconnect from the world, either—there’s no such thing as “bus mode” on your phone!
- You’ll be able to move—All our coaches have plush seats and roomy aisles, so you won’t be packed into a tiny space. It’s also easy to move up and down the aisle, and you won’t have to stay in buckled in your seat for the whole trip.
- You won’t blow all your money on travel—A charter bus is the most way to travel anywhere. With the money you save, you can have more fun at Mardi Gras.
- Charter bus travel benefits the planet—When you travel together to Mardi Gras, it has less of an impact on the environment.
Book a Charter Bus to Mardi Gras Today
The largest charter bus broker in the nation, BusRental.com has been an industry leader and innovator for more than 30 years, providing quality coaches to more than 35,000 events every year. To learn more about your options or to get a quote, call 1-888-502-3458 to talk to one of our experienced agents.