It’s almost Mardi Gras! Known for its big parties, festive atmosphere, and—of course—lots of food, Mardi Gras is the “last hurrah” before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. It literally means “Fat Tuesday in French, in recognition of the Lenten season being one of fasting and abstaining from many of the treats we love.

If you are thinking Mardi Gras seems to be later than usual this year, you’re right. Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday are tied to Easter. Since Easter’s date varies based on the lunar calendar, Mardi Gras can fall as early as the beginning of February, and as late as the second week of March. Interestingly, the very first Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans took place March 3, 1699. But we won’t see a Mardi Gras this late again until March 4, 2025, or March 5, 2030!

If you can’t get to New Orleans this year, the next best place to be is the Emerald Coast! Click on the event links below to learn more about what’s in store this Mardi Gras. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out!



16th Annual Mardi Gras Dog Parade

Who says adults have all the fun on Mardi Gras?! Bring your furry friend to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for our annual dog parade. Participant pooches can walk, ride, or float through the streets. No pup? No problem! Come watch all the fun for free. Bone Appetit!



Destin Commons Mardi Gras Masquerade

Several great events await you in Destin for this year’s Mardi Gras festivities! The good times will roll at the annual pub crawl, which includes stops at FishHeads, Margaritaville, Grande Vista Bar & Grill, Jackacudas & Harry T’s, Crab Island Cantina, Jester’s Mardi Gras Daiquiris, and Coyote Ugly.

And you are sure to have a ball at this year’s Madi Gras Ball, hosted by Lulu’s of Destin. Dress in your finest Mardi Gras attire and come prepared to have a grand time. Tickets are $65, available in advance at Lulu’s.



HarborWalk Village Mardis Gras Fat Tuesday Celebration & Pet Costume Contest

Your Mardi Gras celebrations won’t be complete without a stop at some of the great events at Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village. The Mardi Gras Parade steps off at 2:00 on Saturday, March 2. Adults and kids alike will love the floats, performers, and live music. It’s the biggest parade on the Destin Harbor.

Pets get into the act too, at this year’s Pet Costume Contest on Tuesday, March 5 at 5:00 PM. This is another family-friendly event, complete with light-up floats, furry friends, and lots of fun. Bring your pet for a chance to win Best Dressed! $10 contest entry, or 1 donated bag of dry dog food.



Panama City Beach Mardi Gras & Music Festival

What goes better with purple and green beads than turquoise water and white sand? Nothing! Join us at Panama City Beach for our Mardi Gras and Music Festival March 1 and 2, 2019. This is a fun event perfect for the entire family.