The Incredible History of Mardi Gras Galveston

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Friday, February 9, 2024
The Incredible History of Mardi Gras Galveston
From beads to bands and even an elephant! What we found when we searched our Mardi Gras archives.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Knights of Momus Mardi Gras Parade began in 1871, until it was discontinued during World Ward II.

Mardi Gras would not return to the Island until developer and philanthropist George Mitchell brought the party back in 1985. 200,000 came that year and more the next.

ABC13 was the first station to televise the parade. As the parade continued to grow, so did the coverage. We added a lot more cameras, more lights and moved the production to the Strand area.

In 1997, Landry's chairman and CEO Tilman Fertitta created what's become the biggest Mardi Gras Party in Texas, "The San Luis Salute." Year after year A-list performers entertain sold-out crowds and raise money for the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Fertitta began to fully sponsor the parade in 2001 with a vow to make it a family-friendly event. And as you can tell from looking at the crowds today, Tilman Fertitta succeeds once again.