It may have been cold and snowy, but that couldn’t stop St. Louis from doing its darnedest to celebrate Mardi Gras in style.
To kick off the weekend before Fat Tuesday, the Annual Bud Light Grand Parade took place on March 2nd in the morning. Part of the official Soulard Mardi Gras lineup, people always come out in droves for this true St. Louis experience, which began at Busch Stadium and ended at Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The theme this year was “40 Years of Magic, Music, and Memories,” with floats for each of the past 40 years.
Over on Cherokee, they were trying to rouse a party of their own, the first annual Cherokee Creole Carnival, which boasted hosts like Artist Art, Fortune Teller Bar, and Earthbound Beer. The people, though, just weren’t there, perhaps enjoying the Soulard festivities instead. Artist Art did begin the morning with their own home-cooked gumbo in celebration, while Green Earth Art boasted some Fleur de Lys “Baby Cakes” and a (non-alcoholic) Hurricane Punch drink. But as far as customers to eat them, not many people were around.
On Fat Tuesday itself, the Central West End braved the cold to finish off the celebration with a small but mighty musical send-off. With the Jennings High School and McCluer South Berkeley High School bands performing on different corners in the CWE, the Saint Boogie Brass Band lead a parade of a few dozen from the corner of Washington and Euclid to Maryland and Euclid, where they came together for a huge hurrah with the high school bands.
Despite the biting cold, the organizers were happy to see people gather to watch the performances. Erica Lembo, the Marketing & Communications Coordinator of the Central West End Improvement District, said they were “excited to to partner with local high schools” for the event. Ellie Stuhlreyer, the marketing intern of CWEID, agreed that, despite the cold, the day was a success. “I feel like we’re really bringing the Mardi Gras spirit,” she said.
As always, there were plenty of beads to go around.