What happened to Mardi Gras this year? Did we miss it? Fortunately, no. This is one of those years when Mardi Gras occurs later than normal. Fat Tuesday 2019 happens on March 5th. Have no fear, we’re only 13 days from this highly-anticipated late winter holiday! Of course, if you live along the Gulf Coast or are visiting the area, you’re no doubt aware that Mardi Gras Carnival season is here! Parades and other festivities begin about a month before Fat Tuesday. Most stores and restaurants will be open with regular hours of operation on March 5. 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 festivities. Trust me, Mardi Gras 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 I mentioned earlier in this article, the Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday date this year (March 5) is later than in previous years. This is because Easter Sunday also comes late (April 21.) Fat Tuesday always occurs 47 days prior to Easter. The good news here is that Fat Tuesday temperatures should be warmer, due to the later date. A jacket probably won’t be needed, but you might want to pack one just in case. The other advantage of a March Mardi Gras is it’s proximity to St. Patrick’s Day. If you just can’t get enough celebrating in on March 5, come back 12 days later for St. Patrick’s Day parades on the Coast! Actually, it may be just 11 days. Because St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, many events will be held on Saturday, March 16. In any case, a fun time is guaranteed for the 2019 Carnival season. 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!