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5 Ways You Can Live La Vida Loca at Barefoot Mardi Gras

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by Visit Corpus Christi Texas

If you’ve been dreaming of catching some Mardi Gras beads with the sand between your toes, Padre Island in Corpus Christi brings the biggest and best party on the Texas Coast!  Barefoot Mardi Gras captures the great spirit of Island life and gives everyone in the family something wonderful to experience during this most lively of times!

Come on over to Padre Island and laissez les bon temps roulez with your newest best friends on the beautiful Corpus Christi coast! 


The Parade

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A parade. On a beach - Padre Balli Beach to be exact. ‘Nuff said.

But this parade, though!  Miles (yes, miles) of revelers dressed in all sorts of Mardi Gras-themed extravagance, ready to hoot and holler and cheer for the good times to roll! And there’s nothing better than experiencing it with waves of people and floats mixed with the waves of the Gulf Coast crashing behind you. The parade starts at Whitecap Beach on Padre Island and ends at the Briscoe King Pavillion in Padre Balli Park and starts at 11:00 am.

And no Mardi Gras parade is complete without beads. Lots and lots of beads. And trinkets. And galleons! And all things Mardi Gras!  The Padre Island community steps out in full force to immerse you in the no-tie zone of Island life. Check out how it is reflected in their creative floats and costumes!

And the best thing about Corpus Christi beaches?  Your pooch is more than welcome!  All Corpus Christi beaches are dog-friendly!  So dress your family’s best friend and bring him along for the Mardi Gras fun! Make sure to bring a leash to keep your loved one safe!


The Festival

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The fun doesn’t stop when the parade ends!  New to 2016, Barefoot Mardi Gras offers a festival experience in the Briscoe King Pavillion on Padre Balli Park at the end of the parade. Featuring fantastic live music, food trucks, artisan vendors and a kids activity area, the Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival is the perfect way to make your day at the beach even more UH-MAZing!  And there’s no better way to enjoy a festival Texas-style with a Lone Star - the Barefoot Mardi Festival’s featured adult beverage!  At only $5 for entrance, it’s the perfect way to make the most of your Mardi Gras experience on the beach! The festival begins at 11:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm— so be prepared for a full day of fun!!   


The Locals

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Ok, let’s be real about Mardi Gras. Yes, it has this reputation for being a little rowdy. After all, Mardi Gras is the traditional time to get your crazy on in preparation to reflect on the Lenten season.  

But the part of any Mardi Gras experience that is easily overlooked would be the camaraderie and kindness of strangers. There is no way that you can’t become instant best friends with the people that stand next to you in a parade, or share a drink with you at the King and Queen’s Ball, or pick up an errant strand of beads and place them over your neck with a squeal and a yell.

Here's a fact for visitors to Corpus Christi: one of the secret hidden gems of Corpus Christi is the locals on Padre Island. They make every visitor feel like they’ve met their new best friend. You simply cannot visit The Island without feeling like you’ve entered into your coastal home away from home.

And Barefoot Mardi Gras is the perfect time for you to make their acquaintance.


The Food

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Come for Barefoot Mardi Gras — but eat all the foods!  — the Padre Island neighborhood has some truly fantastic restaurants. You want seafood?  The Island has you covered. If a burger is more your speed, make sure to stop by at one of these joints. Need a Bloody Mary in your life? The solution is here. And what goes better with a Bloody Mary than an awesome brunch? Need the most delicious cup o’ Joe in a eclectic and casual atmosphere — Island Joe’s is the place to go!  With so many wonderful spots to get your food on, Padre Island is the perfect spot for foodies. But there’s no better time than Barefoot Mardi Gras!


The King and Queen’s Ball

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Let’s do fancy — Island style!  Don’t let the name fool you - no ball gowns needed, but you’re definitely going to have a ball!!  And pack your dancing shoes because Barefoot Mardi Gras brings the Cajun-stylings of Miss Nessie & the Ear Food Orchestra to the King and Queen’s Ball. Enjoy a tasty Cajun dinner and let your hair down for the night!  You don’t want to miss this one because those Island folks love a good party!  The Veranda Restaurant located in Schlitterbahn Riverpark and Resort Corpus Christi offers a stunning venue and a free and easy vibe that is just perfect for the party! 

Tickets are available online and they’re a hot a commodity!  Purchase them early for a deal!  

Leave the kids at home because this one’s for the grown-ups!

And a bonus!  While you’re here, make time to enjoy the brand-spanking new Schittlerbahn Riverpark and Resort in Corpus Christi. With great views, a 9-hole golf course and the Bob’s Cabana Pool and Swim-Up Bar open for business, you’re sure to have some extra fun!

So head on out to the Corpus Christi coast for a Mardi Gras experience like any other!


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