Celebrate Mardi Gras Along The Gorgeous Gulf Coast At This Southern State

People have been celebrating Mardi Gras in the United States since the eighteenth century. It's a time of jubilance, vivid colors and costumes, feasting on scrumptious food, blasting music, and celebrating community. Visiting New Orleans during this time is an especially popular vacation. The city draws in over a million visitors ready to partake in the festivities each year. Streets are crowded with people dancing and singing and simply having a great time, hotels are booked to full capacity, and restaurants are bustling with hungry customers. The energy is unique and spectacular during this time. New Orleans, however, isn't the only place to experience such exuberance for the occasion. The Gulf Coast in Mississippi offers an abundance of celebrations that are just as thrilling and colorful as those of New Orleans.

Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Long Beach, and a plethora of other towns along the coast come alive during Mardi Gras with celebrations of their own. These underrated locations are worth visiting if you're looking to spend Mardi Gras in a festive place. They may be smaller, but that doesn't mean that they're any less joyous.

What different towns offer

The Gulf Coast in Mississippi extends for just over 60 miles, making it possible to trek across the state to partake in numerous Mardi Gras celebrations as opposed to sticking to a single location and joining only one. Celebrations begin the first week in January and lead up to the culmination of Fat Tuesday (the translation for Mardi Gras) — the Tuesday before Lent, a season of fasting before Easter for Catholic and some Christian Protestant denominations. 

You'll find everything from 5k's to parades along Mississippi's Gulf Coast. For example, the city of Biloxi, which is home to one of the oldest Carnival organizations in the state (the Gulf Coast Carnival Association), hosts several events including a coronation ball, a number of parades throughout January and early February, the Krewe of Les Belle Fleurs Annual Mardi Gras Ball, and more. Next, there's the town of Gautier, which has a tailgate party in early February and a parade. Ocean Springs has a whole store, Coast Mardi Gras Outlet, dedicated to Mardi Gras attire and decor. They also have a night parade the Friday before Fat Tuesday. Long Beach has a Jeep-a-Gras in January — a parade exclusively featuring decorated jeeps.

A special museum and unique experience

For those looking to learn more about Mardi Gras and its history in addition to experiencing it firsthand, you can check out the Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum in Biloxi. Inside, you'll find beautiful garments worn by significant figures from past celebrations, as well as dazzling jewelry and decor that once adorned parade floats. Learn about those objects and the concept of Mardi Gras in general with a trip here.

Overall, the underrated destination of Mississippi's Gulf Coast makes for an intriguing Mardi Gras destination that you need to see. You'll find all the colors and excitement of New Orleans along with the cultural flare of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. "With so many unique events spread across our 62 miles of shoreline, we hope all who come to celebrate this season of merriment with us will appreciate the vibrant energy and atmosphere of unity and celebration that only Coastal Mississippi can create," CEO of Coastal Mississippi Tourism told PR Newswire.