ST. LOUIS – What started as a two-block march up Russell Blvd. in 1980 is now the event of the season, and one of the biggest Mardi Gras parades in the nation.
The Bud Light Grand Parade is a dazzling show with more than 80 entries in 2023, including several floats, marching, and riding krewes that throw more than 15 million beads along a route from Busch Stadium to the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. from South Broadway and Chouteau Avenue.
Nearly 25% of Grand Parade Day visitors come from outside the St. Louis region, making a significant contribution to the $20 million that Soulard Mardi Gras generates each year for the regional economy.
The many not-for-profit organizations that benefit from Grand Parade Day and the Community Improvement Grants…funded by Mayor’s Ball proceeds in 2023…will add to the more than $1.3 million in charitable contributions made by Soulard Mardi Gras in the past 20 years.
The post-parade Rue du Cirque street party starts at 1:00 p.m. on South 7th Street between Geyer Avenue and Allen Avenue.
If you’re planning to venture out for St. Louis Mardi Gras festivities this weekend, make sure you plan ahead.
Saturday’s parade is the main highlight, though Soulard and other areas of the city will be busy all weekend with various activities.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Busch Stadium. Floats and performers will head southbound on Broadway from the stadium, and the parade will end at Broadway and Lynch Street.
Many routes down Broadway from Downtown to the LaSalle Park and Soulard neighborhoods will be closed from 3 a.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday.
Organizers have released the following map of the parade route. Traffic will not be allowed in the red zones. The yellow zone means there are designed parking areas, but only for Soulard residents with a permit.
Anyone hoping to watch the parade is encouraged to arrive in St. Louis City no later than 10 a.m. or consider a rideshare service.
Metro shuttles from Missouri and Illinois expect to be busy Saturday morning. There are also two spots where you can take rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, for drop off. Drivers can drop you off at South 13th Street and or at Russell Boulevard.
As St. Louis prepares for a busy day, there will also be some closures to highway travelers.
- I-55 northbound at exit ramp to Broadway and 7th Street.
- Exits to Park Avenue will be closed between 6 a.m. and 4 a.m.
- The Arsenal, southbound exit will also be closed
- Many I-64 exits will be closed between 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Mardi Gras festivities.
It’s expected that tens of thousands will attend this year’s Mardi Gras parade, so plan accordingly.
Mardi Gras celebrations began as early as January with various activities, leading to activities like Taste of Soulard and the Purina Pet Parade last weekend. This weekend, it will be even busier.
On Saturday, the parade begins at 11 a.m. As previously mentioned, visitors should consider rideshares and aim to arrive to the city by 10 a.m.
Later on Saturday, there is Rue Du Cirque at Lift for Life Elementary School, the Bud Light Party Tent at Soulard Market Park and the Blues Alumni Experience at Edele Mertz Hardware. Some of these events will require purchases or might be sold out.
For more information on Mardi Gras events this weekend, click here.