Fewer cars traveled into Galveston during the first weekend of Mardi Gras than last year, but traffic to the island’s annual festival still was higher than most past years, according to city data.

Over the weekend, 155,979 cars entered Galveston via the causeway and Ferry Road, according to traffic numbers released by the city.

In 2017, 179,136 cars entered Galveston on the first weekend of Mardi Gras along those same routes, data showed.

But the 2018 vehicle count exceeded Mardi Gras traffic in 2016, during which 116,357 cars arrived in the city on the first weekend, according to the city.

The first weekend of Mardi Gras has generally attracted fewer visitors than the second weekend, according to data.

The city generally tracks Mardi Gras attendance by multiplying by two and a half the number of cars, which this year would mean about 400,000 visitors, Galveston spokeswoman Jaree Fortin said.

The first weekend’s main events included downtown parades Friday night and parades along the seawall Saturday, but rain appeared to thin out some parade crowds.

Marissa Barnett: 409-683-5257;

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