Pensacola parade preparations and Mardi Gras merriment

This lovely Friday evening of January 15, 2016, Pensacola, Florida was buzzing with activities for the Mardi Gras season.

Members of the Krewe de Gateau at the Parade People

Members of the Krewe de Gateau at the Parade People

The Krewe de Gateau kept the doors open late at their favorite Mardi Gras Supply store, the Pensacola Parade People, for a planning, purchasing, and party session.  When not snacking at the food table or discussing their plans, the krewe had the opportunity to stroll through the stacks of beads, plushies, hats and other treasures.  In addition to their activities surrounding Mardi Gras, the Krewe de Gateau also raises money as well as donates time and supplies to disadvantaged, abused, and neglected children and to local homeless shelters.

Pensacola's Mardi Gras Gallery 2016

Pensacola’s Mardi Gras Gallery 2016

Downtown there was a party going on that folks were calling Mardi Gras Gallery Night.  On gallery nights the city of Pensacola blocks off a stretch of Palafox Street, artists set up booths, bands set up, and restaurants and vendors sell food and libations.

Giant Jenga on Palafox Street

Giant Jenga on Palafox Street

This evening there was also a competition with giant Jenga pieces so big that there were ladders on hand for the players to place the pieces.

Brenda Righter of Carriages of Pensacola

Brenda Righter of Carriages of Pensacola

For those of a more romantic bent, Barbara and Brenda Righter of the Carriages of Pensacola were on hand to provide a peaceful ride around the park.

The Knights of Warriors "Road Warriors" ball

The Knights of Warriors “Road Warriors” ball

Over at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center the Krewe of Warriors held their 2016 Mardi Gras Ball with “Road Warriors” as the theme.

Road Warriors at the Krewe de Warriors ball

Road Warriors at the Krewe de Warriors ball

Many of the celebrants were decked out in costumes fitting for the cast of a Mad Max movie.

Gypsy Riot at the Krewe de Warriors Ball

Gypsy Riot at the Krewe de Warriors Ball

They rocked to top tunes from the 70, 80s, and 90, to now with Gypsy Riot, a hot party band with a steampunk flair.

With Mardi Gras over three weeks away there is plenty more Mardi Gras fun to come for Pensacola and the surrounding areas.

Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. the Okaloosa Island’s 13th annual Mardi Gras parade is rolling.  They call it the first Mardi Gras Celebration on the Gulf Coast.  Some might say the Mardi Gras Krewe of Warriors Ball on Sanders beach or the Krewe de la Dauphine Parade on Mobile Bay’s Dauphin Island were Gulf Coast Mardi Gras celebrations among others so let’s just say it is the first Mardi Gras parade of the 2016 season on Florida’s Gulf Coast and enjoy the parade.

Saturday night the Pirates of Lost Treasure Mardi Gras Ball is at the Crown Plaza Pensacola Grand Hotel from 6 to 11 p.m.  On Sunday the Krewe of Blues Pin & Bead Festival starts at 11 a.m. where the local Krewes meet in Pensacola’s Seville Square to trade beads, eat, drink, and dance.  A box of diapers or a $10 donation will get you a free, custom pin.  The Krewe that collects the most diapers wins the diaper drive category of the Krewe Wars.

Laissez les bons temps roulez – let the good times roll!