St Louis News

Soulard Mardi Gras: What to know as festivities kick off this weekend

ST. LOUIS —  Festivities for the 43rd Soulard Mardi Gras are kicking off this weekend. It’s the first time the event has been in person since 2020. Event organizers said they’re excited to have this event fully in person, but there are some new rules to keep people safe.  

“2022 really redefined what it means to be a challenge from an event perspective,” said Mack Bradley, who is president of the Soulard Mardi Gras Foundation. 

He said everyone can expect all the same events: The Cajun Cook-off on Feb. 12, the Taste of Soulard next weekend along with the Purina Pet Parade, and the Grand Parade on Feb. 26.

Bradley said there will be some new additional requirements for indoor venues.

“If you want to be inside this town behind me or any other indoor venue. Then it’s proof of vaccination or negative Covid test within 72 hours of entry.” 

Bradley explained people will not have to show a vaccination card or negative COVID test if they are only attending outdoor events. 

The closest testing site to Soulard Mardi Gras is in Ballpark Village. The site was closed last month due to issues with the testing vendor, Center for COVID Control, but is now back up and running with a new vendor. Bradley said there are many other testing sites to choose from. 

“Going forward in time a few weeks, we don’t really have any concerns about the capacity for testing right now, as the environment’s changed so much,” said Bradley.  

 “This is my 37th Mardi Gras in Soulard so I’m happy to have it back full swing again,” said Tom Gullickson, the owner of 1860’s Bar, located down the street from Mardi Gras.

Gullickson said not having the event hurt everyone in the area.  

“By not having it, it’s been a little bit of a challenge, but we got through it. And here we are! We are all really excited about this year, and it’s going to be a good one,” Gullickson said.

Bradley said ticket sales are already surpassing 2020 and hopes this year could be the biggest yet.  

“I think after the last two years, people are understandably ready to get out of the house and go do something. So, we want to provide a place for them to do that where they can have fun, be safe, and is good for everybody,” Bradley said.

You can find a full calendar of events here:

Tickets and COVID information here:

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