Pensacola Mardi Gras kick-off party changes venues, will honor T. Bubba Bechtol

·2 min read

The official Pensacola Mardi Gras ticketed kick-off event has been reformatted and relocated.

Pensacola Mardi Gras Inc. originally planned to hold the kick-off Jan. 7 at the new East Garden District. The ticketed event was expected to have a live show band, dinner and drinks to kick off Mardi Gras.

However, due to unexpected construction delays, the street will not be ready to host the event, organizers announced Thursday. For the past six months, the city of Pensacola and the East Garden District development group have been working on a road diet and beautification project of Jefferson Street between Garden and Chase streets.

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Pensacola Mardi Gras Inc. has been working with the city to ensure the kick-off can still take place with the blessing of the floats and krewes. The official kick-off will now begin inside Seville Quarter at 5 p.m. Jan. 7.

"We had 15 floats committed to coming to the original East Garden District event. We are reaching out to them to discuss the new plan and confirm their participation," said Danny Zimmern, president of Pensacola Mardi Gras Inc., in a news release. "This will be a free event for everyone. We are trying to grow Pensacola Mardi Gras as we experience growth from the krewes and the public's interest, and Friday, Jan. 7, is still going to be a night to remember and a great start to the 2022 Mardi Gras season."

The kick-off event at Seville will honor the late comedian T. Bubba Bechtol, the Pensacola Mardi Gras town crier. Bechtol died Dec. 19 at the age of 76.

After opening ceremonies with the royal processional and honoring of Bechtol, a second line processional of royalty will walk the float route and bless the floats.

Floats will be parked on Jefferson Street south of Romana Street all the way down to Zarragossa, and Government Street between Palafox and Tarragona streets.

All tickets purchased for the original ticketed event will be refunded and all ticket holders will receive an email from Eventbrite with instructions on the refund process.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: 2022 Pensacola Florida Mardi Gras Kick-Off party changes venues

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