Open or Closed Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday February 28

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!

Open or Closed on Presidents Day Monday February 20

For 2017, Presidents Day happens on Monday, February 20th. This is the holiday which celebrates the birthdays of Abe Lincoln and George Washington. If you’re planning on spending the day shopping or dining out, I have great news: most stores, restaurants, shopping centers, and malls are open on Presidents Day. However, some may be operating on holiday schedule with limited or reduced hours of operation. Some businesses are closed on Presidents Day in order to give their employees the day off. Here’s a quick rundown of what is open and what is closed on February 20, 2017:

BANKS are CLOSED on Presidents Day.

BARS & CLUBS are OPEN on Presidents Day.

BIG BOX STORES are OPEN on Presidents Day: Walmart, Costco, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Trader Joe’s, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, PetSmart, Kohl’s, Belk, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Academy Sports + Outdoors, etc. Many locations will be holding special Presidents Day sales and promotions!

CASUAL RESTAURANTS are OPEN on Presidents Day: Golden Corral, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chevy’s, Red Lobster, HuHot, Outback Steakhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, Logan’s Roadhouse, Texas Roadhouse, Pizza Hut, Montana Mike’s, Lone Star Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Perkins, Denny’s, Ryan’s, etc.

CONVENIENCE STORES are OPEN on Presidents Day: 7-Eleven, Kwik Trip, Circle K, Kum & Go, Casey’s, QuikTrip, SuperAmerica, Speedway, Raceway, etc. Many locations are open 24 hours, even on holidays.

FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS are OPEN on Presidents Day: Arby’s, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Taco John’s, KFC, Long John Silver’s, Captain D’s, White Castle, Krystal, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, In-N-Out Burger, Popeyes, A&W, Rally’s/Checkers, Wendy’s, etc.

GROCERY STORES are OPEN on Presidents Day: Kroger, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Cub Foods, Walmart Neighborhood Market, Food 4 Less, Albertsons, Safeway, Price Chopper, Von’s, Fred Meyer, Food Lion, Gerbes, Dillons, H-E-B., Ingles, Q.F.C., Hy-Vee, Harris Teeter, BI-LO, etc. Some locations may be operating with reduced hours.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES are CLOSED on Presidents Day. Nearly all federal, state, county, and city agencies are closed on Presidents Day.

LIQUOR STORES are generally OPEN on Presidents Day. However, this may depend on which state and/or city you are located in. Most areas allow alcoholic beverages to be sold on Presidents Day while others prohibit these sales.

MOVIE THEATERS are OPEN on Presidents Day: AMC Theaters, Cinemark, Carmike, Regal Theaters, etc. Some theatres have additional holiday show times scheduled for February 20.

PHARMACIES & DRUG STORES are OPEN on Presidents Day: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. These retailers are almost always open. However, the actual pharmacy may be closed or operating reduced hours for the holiday. Pharmacy departments in grocery and big box stores might have varying hours of operation during the Presidents Day holiday.

POST OFFICE (USPS) is CLOSED on Presidents Day.

SCHOOLS are generally CLOSED on Presidents Day. This includes grade schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, etc.

SHOPPING MALLS AND MALL ANCHOR STORES are OPEN on Presidents Day: JC Penney, Sears, Neiman Marcus, Bergners, Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson’s, Herberger’s, Younkers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gordmans, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc. Many locations will be having Presidents sales and special deals!

Of course, these are general rules and there may be exceptions. If you’re not sure, be sure to call your favorite store or restaurant and confirm their holiday hours before leaving home. This avoids unpleasant surprises and unnecessary drives, only to find your favorite shopping or dining place is closed on Presidents 2017. Plan ahead, be safe, and have a great holiday weekend!

Canada Stores & Malls Open or Closed Family Day?

Family Day is a relatively new and somewhat confusing Canadian holiday. For starters, Family Day is only observed in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In Prince Edward Island, Islander Day is celebrated instead. Across Manitoba, the 3rd Monday in February is Louis Riel Day. Nova Scotia Heritage Day is commemorated as well. For 2017, the date is Monday, February 20. Family Day is NOT a national statutory holiday. Because of this, all federal workers work on Family day including post office employees. Canada Post WILL collect and deliver mail on Family Day/Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day.

Are stores open? Are restaurants open? Are the malls open? Again, this is confusing since laws regarding Family Day/Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day vary by province and sometimes by individual cities within a province. Here is a general guide:

In Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador/Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Yukon, retailers are generally OPEN on Family Day.

In Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island, retailers are generally CLOSED on Family Day/Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day. The city of Winnipeg is an exception: most stores are allowed to open between 9:00AM and 6:00PM.

These rules apply to all the large chain stores: RONA, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Loblaws, Atlantic Superstore, Real Canadian Superstore, Best Buy, The Source, HomeSense, Costco, Walmart, Staples, Kent, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Cabela’s, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, Dominion, Longo’s, Hudson’s Bay, Save-On-Foods, Metro, etc. They also apply to most smaller retailers. However, exceptions are made for designated tourist areas in Ontario and elsewhere. Restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores selling essential items are generally OPEN on the February 20th holiday.

Did I mention this is confusing? To be sure, call ahead and confirm Family Day/Nova Scotia Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day hours of operation for your stores, malls, and restaurants before heading out. Have a great winter holiday, Canada!