We decided to begin our Mardi Gras cruise, which would also be stopping in New Orleans for three days for their Mardi Gras, by attending what I call "The Other Mardi Gras" in Galveston.
The first thing we noticed was when getting to the location where the festivities were to be held (The Strand), there was a $20 entrance fee. Within this area they had concession booths set up with vendors selling food, souvenirs, and other various Mardi Gras items. Stores were also prepared for the occasion by selling hurricanes, beer and different types of food from their storefronts. There were different areas set up for entertainment with various bands that played throughout the day.
For the Bourbon Street feel, buildings on the main strip with balconies had people throwing beads to be people below, which attracted a lot of people to the street.
By noon the crowds were starting to arrive really getting into the mood. What bothered me was the police in the crowds. I have attended many Mardi Gras in New Orleans and I am use to seeing the police in the crowds patrolling to make sure that the crowds don't get out of hand, but the police here seemed like they were just waiting for something bad to happen. It just felt very uneasy. By 5pm, the crowd started getting a little rowdy and we felt it best to leave before things got out of hand.
Later in the evening, we attended a parade that was scheduled to take place along Seawall Blvd. Here I felt more comfortable. The parade crowd was more of a family atmosphere and just enjoying having a good time watching the parade and catching beads.
This was a good experience, but I probably would not come to Galveston just for Mardi Gras. If I should take another cruise during Mardi Gras, I would attend again, but not just for the sole purpose of coming to Galveston just for Mardi Gras.
It was a good experience but I prefer the "Big Dog" Mardi Gras in New Orleans.