Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration

2021 Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration

Same Mardi Gras Spirit, Amazing New Format

Obviously Covid-19 is on everyone’s minds these days and while many events and activities have been canceled, others have been modified to create a safer, more controlled environment. We are taking that route for this event. 

Producing and attending a socially responsible event is mandatory for all of us, and that requires a change in venue and a maximum capacity (3000) in attendance.  We all want Pensacola Mardi Gras to happen in 2021, but for that to happen we must take appropriate care.

We made the decision to move the event from a still-parade format to a gated outdoor venue at the City of Pensacola Roger Scott Athletic Complex because we simply could not assure our Krewes and their guests of anything in terms of safety if we invited them downtown along with the general public. This way we can control access to the festivities and provide an outdoor Mardi Gras festival unlike anything Pensacola has ever experienced!

Mask Guidelines

Masks in one form or another have always been a big part of Mardi Gras. We’re putting a modern twist on this and inviting our friends and neighbors to “Let the Mask Make it Happen!”

Here at PMGI we have a mascot that has a lot of character and personality.  You may have noticed Mardi the Pensacola Mardi Gras dog has a mask on for 2021… It’s pretty fancy, right?

We think our amazing Krewes can do even better so we’re having a mask decoration contest as part of the Kick-Off event with a panel of esteemed judges. These judges will be roaming the grounds among the 3000 Krewe members observing which masks look best, and which Krewe they belong to. The top five will receive special recognition and Mayor Robinson may even agree to display some of the winners in City Hall throughout the Mardi Gras season!


Contactless Transactions

We are working with a technology company out of New Orleans (where else would you expect for Mardi Gras) to provide every attendee with an RFID wristband that will allow them entry into the event and to redeem their food and beverages that are included with admission. The RFID wristband company provides this technology to festivals and large events all over the county and is bringing this marvelous technology to Pensacola for the Kick-Off. 

Each attendee will receive their wristband in the mail, well in advance of the event so that you can activate it and store payment info through the app. That way, redeeming perks included with your ticket or any purchases you make at one of our incredible vendors at the event will be as simple as waving your wrist over a panel! Wristbands will then be scanned at the gate for admission and will limit entry to VIP areas.


Ticket Information

Please note, because of the limited scale this event is 21+ only

General Admission ($35 Pre-Sale + fees / $45 after December 1)

Each general admission ticket will get free parking, access to the event, a special bbq pack provided by our friends at Smokin in the Square and (2) free beverages provided by our wonderful sponsors:
Beer from our friends at Bud Light Seltzer (The Lewis Bear Company)
Premium liquor bar featuring Wild Turkey, SKYY Vodka, Espolon Tequila;
a full bar from our friends at Southern Wine and Spirits and Campari USA;
Water / soda / Gatorade from our friends at Pepsi (Buffalo Rock)

We will also have Food Trucks and an array of vendors. We’ll have plenty of bars to reduce lines, and remember, all transactions will be touchless!

We have a strict limit of 3000 attendees, which will allow us to manage the dance areas and table seating in the safest manner possible.


VIP Upgrades ($75 + fees)

This extremely limited offering of VIP Tickets will grant access to a special VIP area with open bar, complimentary upscaled Cajun food specialties, private facilities and a prime stage viewing area. The special VIP tent area will allow for expanded seating for the VIP guests and come with a special parking pass giving you closer access for parking. 

Your wristband will determine which areas you are able to enter so if all-access is your thing, get the VIP tickets quick, because those will be strictly limited.


The Party

The Chee-Weez

The Chee-Weez, a 80’s and 90’s rock and roll party band from New Orleans will liven up the event with their own brand of get up and dance cover songs performed in costume.   

Opening up for the Chee-Weez will be a classic NOLA brass jazz band, and in between a high energy DJ will keep the crowd going. 

Of course, there will be plenty of 2nd line band marches, including the classic 2nd line escort of the costumed Krewes to the main stage where they will be blessed by Father, the Town Crier, and local dignitaries including elected and governmental officials.  Each Krewe that is blessed will receive the customary certificate recognizing their commitment to Pensacola Mardi Gras and authorizing their blessed participation in the 2021 season.

Portions of the Kick-Off event including the full Blessing of the Fleet are being broadcast live on one of the stations of our friends at Sinclair Broadcasting; and the blessing will be streamed live on many of our media partners sites.  These streamed proceedings will be available for viewing worldwide!