Shortly after our arrival in Rockport we began to notice a few flyers for an event called Lamardi Gras 2013. Curious about it we stopped at a little restaurant/bar in the nearby town of Lamar, where the event was purported to occur. After conversing with a local we discovered that Lamardi Gras was a Mardi Gras celebration with a local flare. Even better the proceeds from the Lamardi Gras festival benefit the local Lamar Volunteer Fire Department and First Responder Unit for EMS.
The Lamar VFD was founded in 1964 with a handful of volunteers and a donated fire truck. Over time as they grew they needed more space. As a result the Mardi Gras celebration Lamardi Gras was conceived as a means to raise funds for the needed expansion. This two day festival not only offers live music and local food for sale but also features a casino with tables set up for Black Jack and Texas Hold‘em,
We didn’t go to the Friday night venue but we did attend the Saturday event. In fact we made it just in time to see the last part of the Lamardi Gras parade. Families were lined up in wait for the parade participants who were tossing out oodles of beads, candy and souvenirs. After collecting more than our fair share of beads (and certainly nothing was exposed as means to get them – after all this was a family affair) we went on into the festival tent grounds.
As we entered the festivities a band named Cruise Control was playing a lot of tunes mostly form the 1980’s. Since everything was paid for with “tickets” I went to the window and was pleasantly surprised to be able to purchase my tickets via credit card. I picked us a couple of brews and a couple orders of very delicious red beans and rice. As we sat down to listen to the tunes we enjoyed people watching because it was quite exquisite on this particular day. Our favorite group was a gaggle of mature ladies dressed in glitter blue dresses, purple gloves, purple, green and gold beads, red wigs, red lipstick, colorful fishnet hose and white boots. Amusingly it impossible not to notice they had also hidden under their dresses very obvious "bottom enhancement". Their enthusiasm was infectious as each was reveling in their new look!
We feel that Lamardi Gras is an annual fundraising event not to be missed while wintering in the Rockport/Port Aransas area. Watching all the kiddos scrambling for beads being thrown from the parade carts and floats, adults dressing in classic Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold, then later in the day watching grownups in the Mardi Gras costumes taking on a completely different persona as a departure from their everyday lives was priceless… Yep, it definitely seemed to us that all the kiddos aging from 3-80 had a great day at Lamardi Gras…