Your Guide To The Biggest Party Of The Year: Mardi Gras In The Gaslamp!

Forget February 14th, the 28th is hands-down the hottest night of the year here in our fair city!

Sixteen blocks of the Gas Lamp will be transformed into one giant party by roaring music, exotic dancers, a wild parade, and more strong drinks than you can shake a stick at (assuming you can shake your stick after that much booze).

San Diego’s Mardi Gras is the most outrageous night of the year!

With an average of 30,000 in attendance each year in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s celebration has been rated one of the top-ten Mardi Gras festivals in the world, year after year.

For The History Buffs

Mardi Gras, the French term for Fat Tuesday, was originally a less festive occasion. An often solemn day of preparation for Lent (a day of fasting). Centuries ago Christians were expected to fast and avoid all forms of animal products (meat, milk, cheese).

Back then, having no form of refrigeration, the food needed to be eaten or go to waste (in a time where many had very little to begin with) and so began this annual gathering fueled by rich, heavy portions of food and drink.

This day of feasting prior to the fast became known as “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday”, for the obvious reason.

Over time, it developed into the wild celebration that we know today. Click here to read more about the history of how it evolved.

The Feast

Mardi Gras is a feast for the senses in general, but what would it be without a seemingly endless bounty of rich food and drink in particular?

Restaurants throughout the ‘Lamp will feature authentic dishes for your pleasure as well as drink specials everywhere you turn.

Catch perks like no cover charge, food and drink specials, at more than 20 of our hottest bars and restaurants.

Better yet, buy one of the ‘Food & Drink Package’ tickets offered by the event and get credit that you can use towards food and drink at participating Gas Lamp restaurants.

Trust us…you don’t want to do this party on an empty stomach!

Click here for the complete list of food and drink deals.

The Entertainment

This years Gaslamp celebration of flesh, frolic and feast includes four live music stages starting at 5pm and running straight through until midnight and a killer float parade at 9pm.

West Coast Hip Hop legend Warren G is headlining this year’s entertainment lineup, so you know it’s going to be a good time!

Among the other musical treats you’ll find on the four stages are live sets from Diamond Pistols and Contvbvnd (among others) on the King Club Stage.

You can also get in on the 90’s electro-mashup DJ sets featuring Hickies and Dry Humps, Eric Medina, and Baile do Victinho.

The Parade

This year’s parade will be the biggest, sexiest and most innovative yet! The confetti, performers, and sexy dancers will be a feast for your senses.

The floats this year are going to be a real eye-poppers, with everything from classic cars to ‘art cars’ like those seen below.



In addition, there will be roving entertainment such as belly dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats and drummers to keep you constantly entertained.

The Party

Well, the whole thing is a party! But pay special attention to the last float of the parade, which will transform into the largest stage of the event when the parade ends, and will be the center of the party until midnight.

Getting There

Your best bet for getting into the party on Tuesday is the trolley; you may have a bit of a walk but Uber or Lyft ($25 promo code) are also great choices -especially after the hours of debauchery.

VIP Pedicabs is also an event sponsor and will have pedicabs all around the area – a great way to get around while still taking in all the fun!

Finally, if you have to drive (we don’t recommend it!), Ace Parking is providing discounted parking at Horton Plaza; the entrances located on 4th Avenue and G Street. Click here to get your discounted parking pass.


Get your advanced tickets, VIP passes as well as questions answered here: Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp

Additionally, on Saturday the 25th from 1pm-5pm, the local eateries in the Quarter will be serving up NOLA inspired dishes and handing out beads to help you get a jump on your ‘ammunition’ for Tuesday’s throw-down. Check out Big Easy Bites & Booze Tour for tickets.

See You There!

The ThereSanDiego team doesn’t miss a party! We’ll be there with beads on, cameras out, and drink in hand! Be sure to say hi if you see us!

Be safe, enjoy the party, and see you there!

The Latest
Lilian's Weekend Brunch at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe’s beloved signature restaurant Lilian’s is excited to introduce a new weekend brunch on March 2, served on Saturdays and...
Ilan-Lael Spring Workshops
Discover a fresh perspective on beauty, art and nature at Ilan-Lael during this spring’s inspiring workshops hosted by the Ilan-Lael Foundation. Delve into the enchanting...
Cardiff Farmers Market Anniversary
Cardiff Farmer’s Market, the weekly Certified Farmer’s Market hosted by the Cardiff 101 Mainstreet Association, is excited to announce its 1st anniversary with a special...
Wu Tsai QRT.yrd Concert Series
The Conrad’s outdoor Wu Tsai QRT.yrd Concert Series returns with five free concerts in Spring 2024. Plan to meet up with friends at The Conrad...
The Dish
The Dish is your source for the latest menu updates, new cocktail programs, happy hours, and special offers from San Diego’s best restaurants and bars!...
Cyndi Smith and Basem Harb of Fierce & Kind make award-winning spirits that combine passion and purpose with sustainable production.
We got to sit down for a chat with Basem Harb and Cyndi Smith, the dynamic duo behind Fierce & Kind, a San Diego-based brand...