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The annual Carnival season, spanning from the first week of January until Mardi Gras (Feb. 13 this year), packs the social calendars of Pensacolians, Mobilians, and New Orleanians with parades, balls, and other celebrations unique to the Gulf Coast.

To kick off the 2018 Mardi Gras season, organizers of the official festivities in Pensacola have announced the 2018 Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick Off Celebration.

Mardi Gras in Pensacola. (Special to The Pulse)

Continuing a tradition dating back to the 19th century, Pensacola’s parading Mardi Gras Krewe’s will have their float and Krewes on Palafox and Government Streets, where they will be ceremoniously blessed and proclaimed “ready to participate.”

Each Krewe will be in costume and will have it’s royalty present. A Father, along with the Town Crier T. Bubba Bechtol, will bless each individual float, the City of Pensacola, and the entire Pensacola Mardi Gras season.

The public is invited to this free event that begins at 5 p.m. Free King Cake will be provided by Bluejay’s Bakery and a second line street performance will take place on Palafox Street.

Carnival season in Pensacola will culminate with the Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Pensacola on February 10. Visit pensacolamardigras.com for more information.

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