Mardi Gras season (the chunk of the year between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday) is a big deal in the St. Louis area. The tradition started in the early 1980s with a handful of people parading from one bar to another in the Soulard neighborhood, but over the years it's grown so big that some civic boosters say it's now the second-largest in the country.
Although there are a few events just after Epiphany, a couple of weeks before Ash Wednesday things really kick into high gear. Last Sunday was the Pet Parade, today was the Grand Parade, and in a couple of day there will be one last parade hurrah the evening of Fat Tuesday.
The last time I went to the Grand Parade was about ten years ago. It was pretty crowded and rowdy then, and I've heard it's even more so now. Not my cup of tea. There's one section near the beginning of the route that's purported to be a little less wild; I'd think about watching from that area if the weather was nice. This year it wasn't, so once again I stayed away.
I still like the Mardi Gras, atmosphere, though. For the last week many of the volunteer programmers at KDHX, the community radio station I listen to, have filled their shows with Mardi Gras and Carnival music. My favorite type is uptempo and percussion-filled. Like this song from the St. Louis band JOIA
Five years ago today: Trillion Dollar Question