New Orleans Mayor Kicks Off Longest Mardi Gras Season; San Diego Mardi Gras is Mar. 8

The mayor of New Orleans kicked off the Mardi Gras season on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, launching one of the longest in history, according to Carnival historian Errol Laborde. Mayor Mitch Landrieu was accompanied by famous New Orleans clarinetist Pete Fountain, to serve up slices of the traditional Carnival pastry, king cake, at historic Gallier Hall where the mayor greets parading royalty on Mardi Gras Day.

From now till March 8, there will be over 100 parades in the streets and waterways of New Orleans to celebrate the annual family-friendly event. Ending the Christmas season on Twelfth Night (12 days after Christmas is Jan. 6 in 2011,) Phunny Phorty Phellows also helped launch the 62-day celebration with a ride on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans.

California doesn't hold a candle to this type of debauchery, however, San Diego's one night event is hotter than the New Orleans Mardi Gras, say some locals. San Diego's Gaslamp Mardi Gras celebration takes on a uniquely Southern flavor (as in Southern California,) in a mega-mixer of cultures, customs, cocktails and entertainment. In California, anything goes, so you'll find the traditional Mardi Gras gets shaken up a bit and becomes an event that only a north-of-the-border destination could host. Drinks with tequila are as popular as bourbon libations, and some of the girls and guys wear sombreros instead of feather headpieces. You just never know what you will see. But one thing is certain — California girls are world famous for their beauty.

Two parades will be held at San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras, numerous stages with music, roaming jazz bands, shows, cocktails, food, beads, dancing... and the weather in Dan Diego which is some of the best on the planet, will be in the mix.

SAN DIEGO GASLAMP VACATION - San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter has grown out of its seedy routes to become an entertainment & dining destination that receives all sorts of accolades-and visitors. Located near Petco Park, San Diego Convention Center, Horton Plaza, and Seaport Village, San Diego' Gaslamp hosts tons of tourists and has more than enough hotel rooms to accommodate them with many new high-rise hotels unveiled in the past few years. Hard Rock Hotel and Hilton are a few of the bigger properties. The Hilton is a beautiful high-rise hotel with some bay views and city lights, built during the economic downturn. As a result, rates are some of the best during the winter and spring when there's no major convention in town, so do check it out as an affordable luxury escape if you need to get away. It is sold out on Mardi Gras, but there are still rooms at the Gaslamp Marriott for around $127 if you book right away.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info