Mardi Gras 2015 kicks off tonight on Galveston Island

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- Mardi Gras 2015 kicks off tonight on Galveston Island.

From parades to beads, more than 350,000 people are expected to attend the festivities over the next two weekends. The influx means closures and detours both downtown in the entertainment district and along Seawall Boulveard.

Ivette Wilhem with the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau spoke with Eyewitness News. Wilhem called the party the 3rd largest in the country and the biggest in Texas.

"I get this question all the time. Why Galveston for Mardi Gras?" said Wilhem. "We're amid some of the largest collection of Victorian architecture, it's a really neat ambience. You get the small town slash beach feel which is a little different for Mardi Gras."

Photos from Mardi Gras Galveston 2014

Galveston police officers also issued a friendly reminder. They plan to be out in full force both near the parade routes, and across the island. They stressed both Mardi Gras weekends are "no refusal" weekends.

"We much rather the people that they are with. Their friends, their family make sure and share that responsibility with us to help make sure everyone stays safe this weekend," said Sgt. Joshua Schirard with the Galveston Police Department.

For pricing, parking and much more information, visit the official Mardi Gras Galveston website.
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