Celebrate Mardi Gras in style in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

Thought the holiday season was over, taking with it all reasons for indulgence and celebration? Fear not, for though February is most associated with Valentines Day (fondly termed by many as “Single’s Awareness Day”), it’s also the month of Mardi Gras!

According to Wikipedia,”Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday”. Though the USA might not be known for its celebration of Mardi Gras or Carnival the way other countries are, traditionally the French influenced cities have kept the tradition up with lively festivities. Whether or not you plan to partake in the entirety of Lent, if you’ll jump at any chance to have a good time (Cinco de Mayo, your half-birthday, your dog’s half-birthday, etc.) then there’s a party in the Gaslamp with your name on it!

The Gaslamp Association has provided a very detailed website dedicated to the event, which will take place on February 21, beginning in the evening at 6pm and lasting until midnight. As “the largest Mardi Gras celebration on the West Coast” with tickets priced at only $20 in advance and $25 at the door, attending won’t break the bank. Want to get even more bang for your buck? Buy a $30 ticket and get admission plus a $20 voucher to a number of restaurant establishments in San Diego–“some are right in the middle of the festivities and some have a quiet spot for you to relax.” No matter what kind of food you prefer, the variety of restaurants available will surely please even the pickiest of eaters. Try steak at the Gaslamp Strip Club or fondu at the Melting Pot. Either way, purchase your ticket early to avoid wasting precious party time standing in a line!

There will be DJs providing dance music all night, an awesome parade full of vibrant characters, plenty of enticing food vendors, and all kinds of like-minded people to meet. According to the website, many get into the spirit of things by dressing up. Make or buy your own mask! Put on some colorful clothing and, if masks aren’t your thing, paint your face instead. Mardi Gras beads are one of the things most commonly associated with the day, so read up at mardigrasday.com to learn a little bead history. According to the site, the colors of the beads have a unique meaning. “The Purple, represents justice; the Green symbolizes faith; and the Gold exemplifies power.” While acquiring beads is generally associated with questionable behavior, make sure to keep it classy while still having a great time.

The event is not suitable for children or pets and certain objects like umbrellas and cameras are not allowed in, so make sure to read up on the rules of the venue before heading out to avoid problems. If you’re over 21 and have an adventurous spirit, hit up the Gaslamp district this February 21st and celebrate Mardi Gras the way it was meant to be celebrated!

Photo by karrett Barbosa – Fallen Studios via Flickr.

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