GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) --It's early, but we're all ready for Mardi Gras!
The big weekend is officially kicking off today. The floats are getting fine tuned, and the beads are already loaded up.
The Knights of Momus spent nearly $150,000 in beads alone, and they are giving them away for free.
The big Mardi Gras parade costs about $1 million to put on, and each float is worth about $50,000 to $70,000.
This year, revelers will notice some high-tech additions, including LED lights controlled by computers and synched to the music.
"To Galveston, it's a great economic boost," said Robert Kline, president of the Knights of Momus. "There are hundreds of thousands of people on the island each weekend."
"For our parade alone, the annual estimate is about 350,000 viewers along the parade route."
Award-winning singer Jason Derulo will perform at the big gala at the San Luis Convention Center.
This year's theme is out of this world, too: Space pirates.