Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed January 20 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | January 20, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    4 American Cities Besides NOLA That Throw Epic Mardi Gras Celebrations

    4 American Cities Besides NOLA That Throw Epic Mardi Gras Celebrations

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    New Orleans is the undisputed king of Mardi Gras in America. No questions about that. But let's say you can't make the trip to Louisiana for financial reasons, are squeezed for time off from work, or due to conditions of your probation, aren't allowed to cross state lines. Well, luckily, there are still plenty of big time fun Mardi Gras celebrations you can go to. And I am talking real-deal parties here, not just drink specials at your local bar and grill.

    Saint Louis, Missouri

    Photo via Flickr/Chris Yunker

    A mere nine hours up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, and within easy range of anyone in the Midwest, St. Louis Mardi Gras claims to be the second largest Mardi Gras in the country. And who are we to argue?

    While Mardi Gras in St. Louis has only been going for a few decades — it was started by a boisterous band of tavern patrons who started parading from bar to bar — it has become an absolute mecca for Midwest revelers each winter.

    RELATED: Tour Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World with Brian Kern

    Taking place in the historic French-influenced neighborhood of Soulard in the shadow of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Gateway Arch, the primary partying of the St. Louis Mardi Gras celebration takes place on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday each year. A Grand Parade kicks things off in the morning and then all the bars of Soulard sell streetside libations throughout the day.

    Mobile, Alabama

    Photo via Flickr/alwright1

    Despite what you may have guessed, Mobile, Alabama is in fact home of the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations in America, and this revelry is without a doubt the most closely linked to New Orleans.

    When the French owned massive swaths of future-America, Mobile was its capital, and the tradition of Mardi Gras was brought there around 1700, long before New Orleans was even founded. In fact, many of the traditions that NOLA has become world famous for like Krewes and masked balls can be traced back to Mobile.

    The weeks leading up to Mardi Gras weekend are filled with costumed balls and parades, and when the big weekend comes, the entire city shuts down — for Mobile recognizes Mardi Gras as an official holiday.

    San Diego, California

    Photo courtesy of

    Like Saint Louis, San Diego hasn't been throwing a Mardi Gras party forever — just a couple of decades to be precise — but in that time, its party has managed to become an absolute legend on the West Coast.

    RELATED: 14 Reasons New Orleans is the Center of the Universe

    Taking place in the always-up-for-a-good-time Gaslamp District, the party here was strictly a Fat Tuesday affair in years prior, but has moved to Saturday for 2016. Things get kicked off around 5 p.m. with a colorful parade followed directly by world class entertainment taking the stage under the stars, all surrounded by a block party atmosphere full of revelers dressed in their festive best.

    Last year's headliner was Snoop Dogg, so that gives you an idea of the type of talent to expect at this event.

    Galveston, Texas

    Photo via Flickr/taramarie

    For those who like a little beach with their beads, Mardi Gras in Galveston is the absolute perfect party. During the 1800s, Galveston was right there with Mobile and New Orleans as far as celebrating Mardi Gras, but during World War II the tradition unfortunately died out.

    Thanks to a dedicated local couple, in the 1980s the tradition was revived and is going stronger than ever today on the island, with a Texas-sized party that stretches over the course of a couple of weeks.

    Known for several carefree parades like the Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade and their bedazzled 'brellas, masked balls, balcony parties, and concerts, the beachside city stays abuzz day and night during Mardi Gras, all building to Fat Tuesday and the raucous Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Parade.


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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