Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014 Mardi Gras GPD Parties

The flagship event of the 2014 Mardi Gras season, the Bud Light Grand Parade will take place on Saturday March 1 from Busch Stadium to AB. It'll go from approximately 11am-1:30pm. For the first time, two concert stages will be set up in Soulard with live music after the parade. The stage at 9th and Geyer will feature a local act or two whereas the 7th and Geyer stage will feature a national act.

Tens of thousands of people will flood the parade route and the Soulard neighborhood. While many people will just saunter around the neighborhood hoping to see women lift their tops (seriously, it's a stereotype and doesn't happen much), people who have been to this rodeo before will either hangout at the home of someone they know in the neighborhood or buy tickets to one of the many parties going on that day.

For the uninitiated, here are two simple rules.

1) You can't bring "supplies" into the Red Zone on March 1
 ------Don't think you're going to stock a cooler and wheel it around the neighborhood all day.

2) You can't go into business for yourself on March 1.
-------Don't plan on throwing a party at your house with a cover charge. Odds are you don't have a business license to do that. Also, many residents will tell you that it's a terrible idea to do that.When you have to worry about your house all day, quality time with your friends gets old real fast. That friend you think is always fun and crazy when you go out will likely not be your friend by March 2.

Here are some more policies and procedures.

If you think you can drive and park in Soulard, you're an idiot. If you think you will drive down and park in the lot of a business nearby, you're just an asshole. Your best bet to take the MetroLink downtown and hop on the shuttle. There are also shuttles that run from various bars around town, from downtown hotels and from Laclede's Landing.

Here's a rundown of the sanctioned parties

Bud Light Party Tent - $100

The official Mardi Gras Inc party tent. It'll be at Soulard Market Park in a huge heated tent. $100 gets you the following plus dj's spinning all day with plenty of room to dance and private bathrooms.

  •  Premium open bar of Bud Light, Jack Daniels, Finlandia Vodka, and more
  • An All-You-Can-Eat Cajun/Creole buffet prepared by Soulard’s own Joanie’s restaurant from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

iTap VIP Mardi Gras Party - $100

This is the first year for this one and it's not for lightweights. $100 gets you food from Gulf Shores Grill and unlimited drafts. Plus, you'll have actual restrooms to use and in/out access all day. A very limited supply of tickets is available because the place isn't that big. The patio area will be host to a New Belgium party. $10 gets you in and a New Belgium beer. New Belgium beers are $5 after that.

Joanie's Mardi Gras Party Package - $85

$85 gets you an unlimited buffet plus beer, well drinks and Hurricanes. It's be under a heated tent attached to Joanie's and Clint & Co will be providing live music during the day.

The Bull Tent - $65/ $75

Hosted by 93.7 The Bull, this one is housed in the Cuz's. parking lost at 1530 South 7th Street. It's in a tricky spot since you can't get across Broadway once the parade starts at 10 am. Tee tent is open from 10:30 am- 5 pm. The first 200 tickets are being sold for $65 and the rest will be $75. It's an open bar with a variety of beer and liquors and Miller Lite and Coors Lite beer. The Brian Stewart Band and the Brian Bax Band will be providing the musical entertainment. Food is not included but will be available from Cuz's.

Private SRG Party - $30

You have to know someone to purchase a ticket to this one. The entry fee includes beer, boozy coffee, and hurricanes. The party will take place at Soulard Station on 12th street right across the street from a stage featuring Soulard's own Pedestrians.

The Point Mardi Gras Party at Bar 101 $19/$49

$19 gives you access to the party in the parking lot with a cash bar. The $49 package gets you four free drinks (cash bar after that). food from Steve's Hot Dogs on the Hill, access to the parking lot party, the outdoor patio and the inside dance floor and bathrooms. You'll also get beads and a party cup.

Mardi Gras VIP Lounge at The Porch $65

The Porch is right in the heart of things at the corner of 9th and Lafayette. $65 gets you the heated indoor lounge area with restrooms and a gated patio area in front to people-watch. You also get unlimited beer, Hurricanes, Well drinks and snacks. Party goes from 10a-5p.

Revelry Tent $75

The St. Louis Chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association is promoting this party. It'll be inside a heated private party tent at the corner of Allen & Menard. $75 gets you the bathroom, in & out access from 10a-4:30p, gift bags with a 32 oz. souvenir cup and other "great swag". The website also says some of "St. Louis' best DJs spinning live" if that means anything to you. The premium open bar includes AB products, Jack, Mailbu and Red Bull among other things.

KSHE/Captain Morgan Tent $50

$50 gets you 5 premium drinks and 1 food item. Private porta-potties and in and out access. The website advertises it as being at 9th and Geyer, which should make for a pretty tight with the stage for Eve 6 being right there too.

My Picks: Bud Light Party Tent or iTap

Many of the other Soulard establishments will either be selling refreshments and food on the street and/or indoors with a cover charge. There will also be plenty of booths scattered throughout the neighborhood selling refreshments and food.

We'll be updating this post as more information becomes available.