Blue(s) to take center stage at Mardi Gras Parade

Bernie Federko Grand Marshal for blue themed event

Brian Kelly
February 20, 2020 - 3:26 pm

(KMOX)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - With the forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the low-50's, organizers are expecting a huge crowd for Saturday's 41st annual Mardi Gras parade and the festivities that follow. "Our official crowd estimate," says Mardi Gras Foundation President Mack Bradley, "is a lot." 

Bradley says to handle the crowds there will be six miles of bike racks, 100 tents, 60 concrete barriers and 1,500 portable toilets. Krewes, he says, will throw out 17 million beads along the parade route along with, for the first time, 3,000 plastic eggs filled with vouchers.

"You can win an autographed Blues jersey or others Blues gear. You can win food and drink coupons from places in the neighborhood and a lot of other prizes," said Bradley.

In addition, the Blues Alumni will be throwing autographed rubber pucks from their float. 

The parade will definitely have a Blues flavor to it. The theme is "The Blues", which Bradley says could be the music, the color or the hockey team. 

The Grand Marshal is Blues Hall of Famer Bernie Ferderko, who is also this year's King of Mardi Gras. 

To get to the party, officials are recommending you take Metrolink to the Civic Center station at 14th and Clark. Metro will be providing shuttles from there to Soulard and back. They'll run from 9am until 11pm. Five-dollars will get you a round-trip ride. There will also be three taxi/rideshare drop off locations. 

Once you get there, you will not be allowed to bring in outside cans, bottles, coolers or backpacks. Police are encouraging you not to bring weapons. "We won't specifically be looking for weapons," says St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Captain Ryan Cousins. 

"We're just asking people not to bring them down here," said Cousins. "You're not supposed to be drunk and have weapons anyway. However, if we do catch you with one then we will charge you accordingly."

Cousins says 500 officers, including some from the Missouri Highway Patrol and the St. Louis County Police Department, will be patrolling Soulard.

Bradley says more than 25% of those who attend Mardi Gras in Soulard, come from outside the St. Louis area.

"That's a lot of people staying in  hotel rooms, that's a lot of people eating in restaurants, who may not otherwise find a tourist-type reason to come to St. Louis in the middle of February," Bradley said. 

For those who plan to attend, Bradley has a reminder.

"Please remember, Soulard is a neighborhood. Treat it like your own neighborhood. People live here all year long. Come down to Soulard, have a good time but respect the neighborhood while you're here. Be safe while you're doing it. Go home safely come back again next year." 

Saturday's Mardi Gras parade steps off at 11am. 

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