What is Mardi Gras?
“Mardi Gras” is the French translation for “Fat Tuesday”. It refers to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the “final day of indulgence” before the start of Lent, when faithful Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain luxuries for 40 days and 40 nights as a form of penitence. It is a day that is celebrated worldwide. Each Mardi Gras celebration has its own unique character, whether it's in Rio, New Orleans or here in San Diego.
When is Mardi Gras?
2013: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
2014: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
When and where is Gaslamp Mardi Gras?
Gaslamp Mardi Gras will be held in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, a world-class entertainment district in downtown San Diego, America’s Finest City.
What are the main Mardi Gras celebrations in San Diego on Fat Tuesday, Feb 12?
The two major Mardi Gras highlights in downtown San Diego are:
(2) Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp block party (5pm – 11pm) presented by the Gaslamp Quarter Association
What is The French Connection!?
The French Connection! (TFC) is your Club VIP Passport to the top ten Mardi Gras club celebrations at some of the most seductive nightclubs and bars on Fifth Avenue in Southern California. TFC is a unique party hop jam-packed with cool club entries and VIP perks, such as no cover access to ten French fêtes, welcome aperitifs, bull rides, live DJ performances and more. The festivities start at check-in at The Gran Turismo and continue throughout the evening as TFC Fat Tuesday krewe grows and parades down Fifth Avenue. TFC offers a great way to experience the pulsating nightlife Gaslamp Quarter is famous for. For more info, visit www.GaslampMardiGras.com
Where will The French Connection! Take Place? Are the nightclubs and bars inside or outside the block party?
TFC parties are on Fifth Avenue between E, F and G Street, outside of the block party. The 21+ block party offers in and out privileges to allow ticket holder to partake in The French Connection! and other festivities outside the barricaded areas.
What clubs and bars are included in The French Connection?
The Keating Gran Turismo Level (check-in)
Brick + Mortar
Pussycat Dolls Dollhouse
Greystone’s new Stone Lounge
Vin De Syrah
McFadden’s San Diego
Area 51 Ultra Lounge
Bare Back Grill
What venues are inside the block party and what venues are outside the footprint of the block party?
All of the venues except Café Sevilla are located outside the block party footprint. Club 207 housed within the Hard Rock Hotel is located at the edge of the block party and can be entered from inside the block party and from outside it.
How can I make the most of my Club VIP passport?
Pre-purchase your tickets and map out your parade route to make the most of your Mardi Gras experience.
How much are tickets to each celebration?
(1) The French Connection! $29 advance and $40 day of
(2) Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp block party $40 advance and $50 day of
Do I need to purchase both together?
Tickets are sold separately for the two celebrations. You can purchase one without the other.
Does the block party offer VIP amenities or a VIP ticket upgrade?
No. The block party offers only GA – General Admission. For an elevated VIP experience, The French Connection! offers a comprehensive package of VIP benefits. See http://www.gaslampmardigras.com/PASSPORT-BENEFITS
Can I come down to the Gaslamp and celebrate Fat Tuesday without a ticket?
Absolutely. There are plenty of nightclubs and bars on Fifth Avenue OUTSIDE the barricaded area. Since it is a special holiday, many venues will be charging a cover for admission. The French Connection! (TFC) Club VIP Passport includes admission to multiple decadent hot spots on Fifth Avenue.
Where can I purchase The French Connection! Club VIP Passport?
On sale now until 4PM the day of the event or based on availability
Club VIP HQ / GEM - Gaslamp Event Management, Inc.
835 5th Ave, Ste 311 (between F & E St above Georges on 5th)
(619) 944-8900 (text or call)
On sale Feb 1!
Can I purchase The French Connection! Club VIP Passport the day of?
(A) The Keating Hotel
432 F St. (corner of 5th & F St.)
San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: open 24 hours
This sales location is OUTSIDE the Block Party. No ticket is needed to access The Keating.
(B) Café Sevilla
353 Fifth Ave (between J & K St)
Hours: 5pm – 2am
This sales location is INSIDE the Block Party. A separate ticket is needed to enter the Block Party between 5pm – 11pm.
Do you offer print at home or mail options?
We currently are not offering print at home tickets or mail options. To redeem your VIP passport,
please print your purchase receipt and bring it to The Keating Hotel
What do I need to pick up my passport?
Print-out of your online purchase receipt.
Can I show you my purchase receipt on my phone instead of printing it out in order to pick-up my passport?
Yes you can, if you have a smartphone or android.
Do you offer print at home or mail options?
We currently do not.
Can I change the name/pickup name on the tickets?
Yes. Tickets are transferable and names can be changed on the original purchase. That way, you can purchase tickets as gifts or for groups.
How can I change the name/pick-up name on the tickets?
Contact Club VIP at Party@ClubVIPSD.com or call at (619) 944-8900 with your name and the name you would like to change it to. We will then send you a new e-ticket.
What is your refund policy?
ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS. NO CANCELLATIONS.
Do you offer discounts on The French Connection! Club VIP Passport?
“Krewe” discounts are available for groups of 8 and more.
Design your own parade and contact Club VIP at Party@ClubVIPSD.com or call/text (619) 944-8900.
Where can I purchase tickets inside the Mardi Gras block party?
Tickets will be available to purchase at Café Sevilla on Fifth Avenue between J St. and K Street. Sevilla is the only exclusive Club VIP check-in and ticket station with in the Mardi Gras block party.
If I have purchased and received credentials in advance, do I still need to check-in at The Keating on Fat Tuesday?
No, you do not but you should stop by the Gran Turismo Level of the Keating Hotel and experience our exclusive VIP party, “Voulez-Vous” fête.
How do I get to Gaslamp Mardi Gras?
There are several ways to get to Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp. You can drive, walk, take a cab, hop on the COASTER or take the Trolley.
Driving to the Gaslamp Mardi Gras:
From I-5 South:
Drive south on I-5 past the airport toward Downtown. Take the 10th Ave exit. Continue down 10th Ave for four blocks to Broadway. Turn right onto Broadway. Go down 2 blocks and turn left onto 8th Ave. The Ace Parking structure will be located on your right, directly after you turn. If you pass E St. you have gone too far. After parking head down 8th Ave towards E St. (south). Turn right onto F St. The Keating Hotel is located four blocks down the right between 4th and 5th Ave. The Keating Hotel 432 F. Street San Diego Ca 92101
From I-5 North:
Drive north on I-5 towards downtown San Diego, take the 6th Ave. exit. Go left (south) on 6th Ave. Turn left on E Street. At the 1st light turn left onto 7th Ave. The Ace Parking structure is on your right. After parking, head down 7th Ave towards E Street (south). Turn right onto F Street. The Keating Hotel is located four blocks down on the right between 4th and 5th Ave. The Keating Hotel 432 F. Street San Diego Ca 92101
From Highway 94 West:
The highway ends and becomes F Street in Downtown San Diego. Continue west down F Street for ten blocks. Turn right onto 7th Ave. The Ace Parking structure is on your right. After parking, head down 7th Ave towards E Street (south). Turn right onto F Street. The Keating Hotel is located four blocks down on the right between 4th and 5th Ave. The Keating Hotel 432 F. Street San Diego Ca 92101
From Highway 163 South:
Drive south through Balboa Park and the highway ends and becomes 10th Ave. Continue south down 10th Ave for four blocks to Broadway. Turn right onto Broadway. Go down two blocks and turn left onto 8th Ave. The Ace Parking structure will be located on your right, directly after you turn. If you pass E St. you have gone too far. After parking head down 8th Ave towards E St. (south). Turn right onto F St. The Keating Hotel is located four blocks down on the right between 4th and 5th Ave. The Keating Hotel 432 F. Street San Diego Ca 92101
Can I take the COASTER/Trolley to Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp?
Coming from North County? Take the COASTER!
The North County Transit District offers free parking at all of its transit centers (except Santa Fe Depot), which offers a stellar driving alternative for people coming from North County and beyond. Mardi Gras festivities are only a few blocks from the COASTER's last stop at Santa Fe Depot. Depart the COASTER at the Sante Fe Depot and head east on Broadway for 9 blocks. Turn right on 4th Ave. Follow 4th Ave. to F St. Turn left onto F Street. The Keating Hotel will be located on your left between 4th and 5th. Stay tuned for updated information and special Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp COASTER schedules, which will be posted at GoNCTD.com.
Taking the SDMTS Trolley?
You can ride the San Diego Trolley to the Gaslamp from the Mexican border, South Bay, East County, Old Town or Mission Valley. Ride the Green Line to the Gaslamp Quarter Station at the south end of Fifth Avenue. SDMTS runs a special event schedule that will get you to Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp & The French Connection with plenty of time to spare for the party in 2013. Take the Green line to the Sante Fe Depot. Exit the trolley and head east on Broadway for 9 blocks. Turn right on 4th Ave. Follow 4th Avenue to F St. Turn left onto F Street. The Keating Hotel will be located on your left between 4th and 5th. Late trains depart from Gaslamp around the midnight hour and a full day pass is only $5. Complete details posted at SDMTS.com.
If I take a taxi, where should I be dropped off?
Have the taxi drop you off in front of The Keating Hotel at 432 F. Street San Diego Ca 92101.
Where can I park at Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp?
With the ClubVIP Passport you can park at the Ace Parking structure between E St. and Broadway on 8th Ave and receive $3 off. Park your cover over night with no extra fee!
OTHER GENERAL QUESTIONS
What should I wear?
It’s Mardi Gras, so be festive and bead-tastic! Think feathers, boas, masks, gold, purple, satin, leather and lots of beads!
Is there a dress code at any of the venues?
Dress codes at the clubs will be slightly relaxed on Mardi Gras. Costumes and other festive gears highly suggested.
If it rains, will the block party be cancelled or can I bring my umbrella?
Rain or shine, the show must go on. Umbrellas are not allowed into the block party.
The French Connection! is also your passport to shelters, rest areas and proper bathrooms (if you are not a fan of port-a-potties).
What are welcome aperitifs?
Aperitifs are alcoholic drinks served before a meal. “Welcome aperitifs” is another way of saying “welcome shots or beverages”.
I would like to spend the night downtown after the Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp celebration. Got any recommendations?
The French Connection! cares about your safety and have partnered with Hotel Indigo to extend a “Play & Stay Rate” of $129.
509 9th Ave (corner of 9th & Island St.)
San Diego, CA 92101
Book by Phone: T. 877.846.3446| “Club VIP-Mardi Gras Rate” Group Code VIP
Book Online: www.HotelInSD.com
Click the “BOOK NOW” tab | Enter Group Code: VIP
Subject to availability and booked by Fri. Feb 1. 2013
Have more questions about The French Connection!? Give us a shout!
Phone: + (1) 619-944-8900
Official Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/523730774326478/