Taste of Soulard kicks off St. Louis Mardi Gras celebrations

ST. LOUIS – Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and celebrations are already kicking off in St. Louis’ historic Soulard neighborhood.

Saturday marked the first day of a two-day celebration known as Taste of Soulard, a self-guided tasting and pub crawl that allows people to choose their own food and drink adventure through the many Cajun specialties.

If you weren’t able to attend Saturday’s Taste of Soulard event, you can also participate Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the celebration, click here.

The Soulard neighborhood also hosted a “Supplement Superstores Run For Your Beads 5K” on Saturday. The official Soulard Mardi Gras parade is set for next Saturday, which could bring tens of thousands of people to Downtown St. Louis.

Soulard’s Mardi Gras festivities generate around $20 million each year for the local economy. Nearly one-quarter of parade visitors come from out of town, helping with the annual contribution.

While the origins of Mardi Gras stem from New Orleans, St. Louis also has some deep-rooted connections. Back in the 1790s, one southern area of St. Louis City was run by an upper Louisiana surveyor named Antoine Soulard. The neighborhood later embraced his namesake and began hosting Mardi Gras celebrations more than 200 years later.

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