The Soulard Mardi Gras - the largest Mardi Gras celebration on the planet - will offer the cheapest alcoholic drinks in the country during the March 5, 2011 Grand Parade Day event.
For example, during the 2010 Grand Parade Day celebration, one vendor sold 16 oz cups of beer for a mere $5.00, and 32 oz souvenir cups sold for $9.00, with a refill for a paltry $8.00. The souvenir cups are exotic, hand made plastic steins suitable for recycling or for placement on your bureau to hold loose change. These cheapies symbolize the sophistication of the biggest municipally sponsored drunk.
Also in 2010 a vendor offered hurricane souvenir 32 oz cups went for $12, with a refill priced at a reasonable $10, and you could get a 16 oz cup of hurricane for $6.00. Can you say greedy?
We don’t know what the charges are going to be in 2011, but we bet they aren’t going to be any lower. Of course, partygoers can bring their own alcoholic beverages to the Grand Parade Day, except that Mardi Gras Inc., event organizer, hires an army of people to maintain a picket line around the area to prevent this.
A number of bars only hang on because of their mg take, so one of the main functions of MGI is to reduce competition. Let’s be truthful: booze sales are the only thing that drives the Soulard mg, although it is sold as a "spontaneous" party with neighborhood folks "inviting" the rest of the world to participate, just one of the lies MGI nourishes to disguise the fact that it is only about money.
Truth be told, mg seems to be the only growth industry in St. Louis, a reflection on our political leadership, but an explanation as to why this dangerous debacle is encouraged. By coincidence, MGI seems to be having stomach troubles. The cut to outside neighborhood organizations, who have traditionally operated booths selling food and alcoholic beverages, has been reduced to 15 percent from the 25 percent of 2010. By squeezing rewards to outside neighborhoods, more money can be channeled to political and administrative pockets.
So our suggestion is: if you are going to blow your money during this ugly mess, then search out neighborhood booths, such as the Benton Park booth. And good luck. Remember, police protection is spread really thin, and large numbers of participants leave their manners at home, something which becomes obvious after they have a couple of drinks.