Portland Mardi Gras Ball

Save the date! The 2018 Mardi Gras Ball is February 10th, 2018 - the Saturday before Mardi Gras! We'll be at the same place as the 2017 Ball - the beautiful Tiffany Center Emerald Ballroom in downtown Portland. That means the Mardi Gras Day Parade takes place the following Tuesday, February 13th.

The Portland Mardi Gras Ball is organized by the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus, a Louisiana style Mardi Gras Krewe. When it's not Carnival Season, you can catch the Krewe at the Starlight Parade and Safeway Waterfront Blues Fest. We also help organize a Mardi Gras Day Parade on Mississippi Avenue on Fat Tuesday.

Any questions? Take a look at this 2 min. video!


2018 Mardi Gras Season!

Save the date! The 2018 Mardi Gras Ball is February 10th, 2018 at the Tiffany Center Emerald Ballroom - same location as last year. The Mardi Gras Day parade is scheduled for February 13th - Mardi Gras Day!

2017 Starlight parade and now PRIDE!

Yes! we'll be marching in the Pride Parade on June 18th in downtown Portland! We're entry #149. We had a teriffic time at the 2017 Starlight Parade on June 3rd. Check out the pics!

Fat Tuesday Traditions

Traditional King Cake

Mysti Krewe of Nimbus incorporates as many Mardi Gras traditions as possible in the Portland Mardi Gras Ball. If you've ever wondered why there is a baby in the king cake, or even WHAT IS a king cake, we'll try to explain!

1. What *is* Mardi Gras and why celebrate it?

    Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the start of Lenten season, where traditionally people are asked to give up something for 40 days. Mardi Gras is basically French for Fat Tuesday - the big party before the fasting and deprivation begins.

2. Why wait until January 6th to announce the Portland Mardi Gras Ball theme this year?

    January 6th/Twelth Night/Epiphany signals the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Mardi Gras season in Louisiana. New Orleans Krewes start throwing balls and parties leading up to Mardi Gras Day and various parades. It's also the appropriate time to enjoy king cake.

3. King Cake? What is that?

    King cake is a round raised dough cake, much like a coffee cake. It's covered with frosting, and the traditional Fat Tuesday colors of purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power) sugar. Each cake contains a small plastic baby. Whoever gets the baby in their slice of cake gets to either buy the next cake and/or host the next Mardi Gras Party.
    More information on king cakes and their history
    Looking for a King Cake in Portland? Try New Seasons or Beaverton Bakery around Mardi Gras time

4. Throw me something, Mister! Mardi Gras Beads

    The strings of shiny plastic beads that symbolize Mardi Gras started with the Rex parade in the early 20th century. Originally made of glass, they were a souvenir, and a way for the different parade krewes to connect with their audiences. It's not neccessary to remove clothing to get the attention of a bead-thrower - a simple "Throw me something, Mister" - the traditional parade shout - is enough to win more beads than you know what to do with! During the 2012 Ball, beads were tossed from the upper balcony to the costumed dancers below.
Tossing beads from the balcony at the Bossanova Ballroom
Tossing beads from the balcony at the Bossanova Ballroom

Want to know more? Check out this page from New Oreleans Online about Mardi Gras Traditions!