If you live along the Gulf Coast or are visiting, you’re no doubt aware that Mardi Gras Carnival season is here! Fat Tuesday 2017 happens on February 28th. Most stores and restaurants will be open with regular hours of operation on this day. However, some locations will be closing early for the parades. Other retailers and eateries will be closed for the entire day on Fat Tuesday so their employees can enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities. Trust me, Fat Tuesday is a big deal in this region! Not just in New Orleans, but also in Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Mobile, Pensacola, even as far east as Destin and Panama City!
As you may have noticed, the Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday date this year (February 28) is later than in previous years. This is because Easter Sunday also comes late (April 16.) Fat Tuesday always occurs 40 days prior to Easter. One advantage of this is that Mardi Gras temperatures should be warmer, due to the later date. On the other hand, this means St. Patrick’s Day parades will be happening less than 3 weeks after Fat Tuesday. Come to think of it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Be sure to call ahead and confirm hours for your favorite shopping mall, store, or restaurant before heading out on Fat Tuesday. Have a great and safe Mardi Gras!