Today marks the kickoff of Mardi Gras! Galveston’s annual festivities that will feature parades, live music, food and everyone’s favorite — beads!

Today’s events include the George P. Mitchell Award Presentation, honoring James Henderson and J.P. “Hap” Hunnicutt III, at 5:30 p.m. in front of The Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row, in Galveston. Afterward, the George P. Mitchell Honoree Parade will begin at 7 p.m. in the entertainment district in downtown Galveston.

If you can’t make it to the first parade, then make sure you bring your funky, decorated umbrella to the Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade, which just happens to be the largest umbrella dance in the world!

And if you’re still up to it after all of that, then the Mardi Gras! Galveston Parade will begin at 10 p.m. today.

On Saturday, the Jolly Jester Jaunt, the official Mardi Gras! Galveston 5K, will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Parade and the Krewe of Gambrinus Parade, at noon and 6 p.m., respectively on Seawall Boulevard.

In the entertainment district on Saturday, you can watch the seventh annual Zaniest Golf Cart Parade at 1 p.m., and the Krewe D’Iheartmedia Parade will begin at 3 p.m.

And then rounding out the first weekend of Mardi Gras! Galveston events will be the popular Fiesta Gras Day, which will include the Fiesta Gras Estrella TV Parade at 1 p.m., and the Mega Fiesta Gras Parade at 4 p.m.

If you love Mardi Gras because of the live entertainment, then make sure you don’t miss performances by Everclear on Saturday and La Mafia on Sunday.

For a complete itinerary, routes, tickets, and information, visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com or call 409-770-0999.

“HOT BED HOTEL”

Michel Parker’s “Hot Bed Hotel” will make its debut tonight at the Bay Area Harbour Playhouse, 3803 state Highway 3, in Dickinson, this weekend.

Directed by Kaira Jackson, a new and talented director, the show can be seen at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays today through Feb. 22.

The show, which is a sophisticated comedy, will feature actors Shawn Daniel, Ashley Baker, Sam Kee, Becca Peters, Ajay Vakil, Berkley Pearl, Susan Hamel and Joanna Alexander.

Tickets begin at $12 with discounts for military, seniors, students, and groups of 10 or more.

For tickets and information, visit www.harbourtheater.com.

MARDI GRAS GALA

Looking for a reason to get all dressed up for a good cause? Well, I have just the event for you!

The Ivy Isle Foundation of Texas and the Beta Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. will present its annual Mardi Gras Gala from 8 p.m. to midnight Feb. 10 in the grand ballroom of the Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd., in Galveston.

Tickets are only $60 per person, and proceeds go toward the sorority’s scholarship fund and other programs. There also will be a cash bar and formal attire is requested.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ivyislefoundationoftexas.org or on Eventbrite.

FABIEN GABEL

SET TO PERFORM

Fabien Gabel, music director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, will return to our neck of the woods with special performances at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana St., in Houston.

Gabel will lead the symphony in a program of French and American classics, including music from Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloé,” and Bernstien’s comic operetta Overture to “Candide.”

The shows also will feature percussionist Colin Currie, who has been called “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist.”

For tickets and information, visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

Angela Wilson: 409-683-5239; angela.wilson@galvnews.com

Angela Wilson is the community news editor for The Daily News.

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