ST. LOUIS – Get ready for the centerpiece of Soulard Mardi Gras in St. Louis, the 39th annual Bud Light Grand Parade, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. St. Louis’ Mardi Gras celebration is one of the nation’s largest.
This year marks the centennial of one of St. Louis’ most storied institutions, the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theater, better known as The Muny. To celebrate this milestone for the Muny and St. Louis, the 2018 Grand Parade theme is Celebrating #Muny100. Each Parade Krewe has built a float or other entry to adhere to this theme.
The Bud Light Grand Parade brings thousands of people to Soulard every year, and fills hotel rooms and other establishments throughout the region. With nearly 25% of Grand Parade Day visitors coming from out of town, Mardi Gras is both a great time and serious business for St. Louis. Soulard Mardi Gras generates $23 million for the local economy, about the same impact that St. Louis enjoys from hosting a World Series.
A top priority for Mardi Gras organizers is to get people safely to and from the party. So once again, Soulard Mardi Gras enjoys a strong partnership with Metro Transit:
Metro runs its shuttle service between the Civic Center Metro Station—just south of Scottrade Center at 14th and Clark in downtown St. Louis—and the Soulard neighborhood—near St. Vincent DePaul Church at Carroll Street between Menard and 10th Streets, near the west end of the footbridge over I-55. The special Mardi Gras shuttle buses will operate every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and $6 round-trip passes can be purchased on Saturday, February 10 at the Civic Center Station, starting at 9 a.m.
Taxi stands will be active at the same location as the Metro shuttle stop, and also at 1919 South Broadway and 13th and Russell.
Grand Parade Pro Tips
- Arrive early. You may even want to book a nearby hotel room for Friday and Saturday to eliminate parking hassles and ensure that you are here with time to spare. Several hotels offer shuttles to and from, or provide access to taxis.
- No cans, no coolers, no bottles, no backpacks. No exceptions. For public safety reasons, these items are not allowed in the Soulard festival zone. If you do somehow manage to have these items in the festival zone, you will be asked to dispose of them immediately.
- Dress for the weather. St. Louis weather is notoriously fickle, so plan appropriately. The event happens rain or shine, and you’ll be on your feet a lot so wear comfortable shoes.
- Use the portable restrooms. There are thousands of portable restrooms located throughout the festival zone. The police will ticket you for not using them. If you can’t find one, try opening your eyes.
- Don’t drive. Take Metro, a shuttle, a taxi, a ride-share service, or have a DD.
- Respect our neighborhood. As one of the oldest residential and entertainment districts west of the Mississippi, Soulard is recognized as a national historic jewel. Please be respectful of the neighborhood and its residents--treat Soulard as if you live here.
Bud Light Grand Parade
Saturday, February 10, 2018, parade begins 11 a.m. CDT
From one Busch to another—the Bud Light Grand Parade begins at the staging lot at 7th and Cerre Streets (just southwest of Busch Stadium) and ends in the city’s historic Soulard neighborhood, near Anheuser-Busch.
Nearly 80 entries of all shapes and sizes, designed according to our 2018 theme.
About Soulard Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras, Inc., a 501(c)(4) not for profit organization, is responsible for producing the Mardi Gras celebration in St. Louis, which is celebrating its 39th year in 2018 and is recognized as one of the largest pre-Lenten celebrations in the United States.