Florida’s own Mardi Gras

Erin Wronka, Editor-in-Chief

          At this time of the year, right when the social scene is starting to get a little dull in Florida, perfect remedies for the boredom begin to make their appearance just in time. The Florida State Fair makes its way to Tampa during the month of February, and the Strawberry Festival opens in Plant City. Along with these fairs, over in the tourist capital of Florida, otherwise known as Orlando, Universal Studios opens its Mardi Gras celebration. The event takes place in the park on Saturdays and other select nights from February 11 through April 14, leaving plenty of time for families to experience it at least once this year. The festival is a mock portrayal of the Mardi Gras events originally started in New Orleans but with a more family friendly twist.

                Each night of the festival features a parade in which kids and parents are encouraged to catch as many beads as possible and feel like they’re right in the middle of the French Quarter. Performers and floats will travel throughout the park to make sure everyone catches a glimpse. This year’s parade theme highlights the beauty of Planet Earth, and will “take” viewers to different parts of the world. Mardi Gras planners’ hope is that people will be able to experience just what makes the earth so special by simply watching the parade.

                The most famous and popular part of Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras is the concert lineup for the festival. Every weekend, different hit music artists will make their appearance to perform for park-goers. There are singers scheduled from every music genre, and both teens and parents will find at least one that interests them because of the variety.

                Top 40 artists that are sure to attract the younger generation make up much of the anticipated concerts. Original American Idol Kelly Clarkson will be performing on Saturday, February 18, following her impressive SuperBowl performance of the national anthem. The concert will be in support of her latest album Stronger and she’ll surely perform her most recent hit single “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger).”

                This past summer, one of the most played songs of the season was Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight.” This single jumpstarted the band’s fame, and put them right into the spotlight. They will be performing at the Mardi Gras event on Friday, March 23 as a part of their headlining tour.

                The following night, Top 40 rapper B.o.B will take the stage in Universal. Most known for his collaboration with Paramore’s Hayley Williams and singer Bruno Mars, his concert is sure to include many radio hits to sing along to. If Top 40 music is your favorite, then this show you won’t want to miss.

                For the parents’ generation, music legends like Cyndi Lauper and the B-52s are all scheduled to perform in March. With the performance variety available, teens and their parents are bound to find a concert they’re interested in. For a full schedule of the concert lineup, visit universalorlando.com.  

                If you’re looking for something to do, Mardi Gras at Universal Studios is a great option. All you need is park admission, which means you can enjoy the rides and shows all day, then at night witness the parade and concert. Why not give yourself something to celebrate by checking out what Mardi Gras at Universal is all about?