Galveston’s 106th annual Mardi Gras festivities kick off today with parades, parties and concerts galore.
Kicking things off will be the annual George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award Ceremony, honoring Larry Del Papa, at 5:30 p.m. today in front of The Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row, in Galveston.
Afterward, the first parade of the season will begin at 7 p.m. through the Mardi Gras Entertainment District on The Strand in downtown Galveston. Then immediately after that parade, the annual Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade Parade will begin at 8 p.m., followed by the inaugural Galveston Pride Parade at 10 p.m.
The following performers will be in concert tonight on the Budweiser Stage:
• 5:30 p.m. — The Lineup;
• 7:30 p.m. — Brandon Rhyder; and
• 10:15 p.m. — Honeybrowne.
Performances tonight on the Electric Stage:
• 10 p.m. — DJQwest; and
• 11:30 p.m. — DJ Villa.
Rhyder, who is a country music artist, has held four No. 1 singles on the Texas Music Charts, and will be Friday’s headliner.
Saturday’s Mardi Gras festivities will feature the annual Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Kick-off Parade at noon and the Krewe of Gambrinus “Light Up the Night” Parade at 6 p.m., both beginning on Seawall Boulevard and ending in the Entertainment District.
Alternative rock band, Sugar Ray, will be the headliner at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Mardi Gras Entertainment District. The band, which has been around for over 30 years, has produced six full-length albums and will perform favorites such as “Fly,” “Every Morning,” “When It’s Over” and “Someday.”
And if you like electronic dance music, the Fueled by Monster Electric Stage, 21st and Mechanic streets, will feature continuous, beat-thumping DJ concerts throughout the festival to keep you dancing and grooving all night.
Also on Saturday, at 9 a.m., the official Mardi Gras! Galveston 5K and 10K run will take place throughout the entertainment district; the Mambo Jazz Kings will perform at noon on the Budweiser Stage; the Zaniest Golf Cart Parade will be at 1 p.m. and the Krewe d’iHeart Media Parade will be at 3 p.m., also in the entertainment district.
Zaemon will perform at 4:15 p.m. and Sprung will perform at 10 p.m., both on the Budweiser Stage; Tropkillaz will perform at 10 p.m. and Bright Lights at 11:40 p.m., both on the Electric Stage; and DJs Pistol B and Bizonee also will be spinning tunes throughout the night as well on the Electric Stage.
Then rounding out this weekend’s Mardi Gras events will be the inaugural “Fiesta Gras” highlighting Tejano music and culture with parades at 1 p.m. (LULAC No. 151 Tejano Gras Parade) and 4 p.m. (Mega 101 Parade) Sunday in the Entertainment District.
La Mafia, a four-time Grammy Award-winning group, will be the headliners at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the Budweiser Stage.
For information and tickets, visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com.
‘For the Sake of Music’
Musical Beginnings will present “For the Sake of Music” at 4 p.m. Saturday at A Brighter Day Event Center, 8030 FM 1765, in Texas City.
Students of the program will present a living museum and perform musical selections. Dinner will be served and door prizes will be given away.
Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by contacting Sharon Barron, email@example.com or 832-752-0002.
Black history programs
In honor of Black History Month, there will be several black history programs open to the public to come out and celebrate.
First Union Baptist Church will have its annual Black History Program at 6 p.m. Saturday at 1027 Ave. K in Galveston. The Rev. E.R. Johnson will be the guest speaker. For information, call Connie Hebert, 409-539-9055.
Clear Springs High School will have its inaugural Black History Program at 7 p.m. Saturday in the school’s Performing Arts Center, 501 Palomino Lane, in League City. Admission is free and open to the public. For information, visit www.ccisd.net.
The Youth Department of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church will present its annual Black History program at 11 a.m. Sunday at 2127 37th St. in Galveston. For information, call 409-763-2853.
The Dickinson-Bay Area Chapter of the NAACP will have its Black History Program at 4 p.m. Sunday at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 2920 state Highway 3, in Dickinson. The Rev. Andrew Berry II will be the guest speaker. For information, call 713-320-2899.
And, the fourth annual Black Heritage Banquet will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Old Central Cultural Center, 2627 Ave. M, in Galveston. The Rev. Norman “J.R.” Johnson will be the keynote speaker.
Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by calling Pete Henley, 409-392-0317.