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Market Square hosts Mardi Gras Jamboree and Gumbo Showdown on March 1st

Celebrating Mardi Gras is as easy as a drive to downtown Houston at the First Annual Mardi Gras Jamboree & Gumbo Showdown at Market Square Park slated for Saturday, March 1 from 4-8:30 p.m.

Gumbo cook-off in Market Square
Gumbo cook-off in Market Square

The Saint Arnold Brewing Company and the Downtown District have partnered together to bring the event to the historic neighborhood park. Visitors will be able to partake in some of Houston’s best gumbo, an abundance of craft beer and funky music all while saying, ““Laissez les bons temps rouler.”

Prepare to inhale the odor of handcrafted gumbo created by teams as they compete for the title of “Best Gumbo in H-Town.” The public is invited to taste the decadent creations from 4-6 p.m. with judging and awards immediately following.

“Mardi Gras has such a rich tradition in the South and we wanted to give Houstonians a chance to enjoy that festive atmosphere without having to drive to Galveston or New Orleans,” said Downtown District’s marketing director, Angie Bertinot. “We’ve created a touchstone Mardi Gras celebration that is sure to be a yearly tradition here in Downtown’s Historic District, plus it’s a great opportunity to work with one of our favorite partners, Saint Arnold Brewing Company.”

As an added bonus, attendees also will experience a true treat straight from the streets of the Crescent City as New Orleans’ ultimate party band, The Hustlers Brass Band take center stage from 5-6 p.m. Since 2005, the band has continued to kick parties up a notch with their blend of R&B, Funk, Gospel Traditional Jazz, Zydeco, Latin and Be-Bop. Keeping the party going from 7 – 8:30 p.m. will be tunes from T-Bird and the Breaks –offering an eclectic mix of funk and jazz grooves.

Rounding out the celebrations that evening at the park will be an impromptu drive-about by Houston’s illuminated Art Carsas they make their way around Market Square Park.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on how to compete in the Gumbo Showdown, visit for the rules and entry form. First place is $500 cash and a case of Saint Arnold beer.

Market Square Park is open daily from 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages, please. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 p.m. $5 parking is available across the street at Market Square Garage. 301 Milam.

Visit Market Square Park on Facebook and Twitter for info on special deals and happenings at the neighborhood’s wide-ranging dining and bar scene associated with the park’s events.

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