What is Mardi Gras?

“Mardi Gras” is the French translation for “Fat Tuesday”. It refers to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar of Lent. Traditionally, Fat Tuesday is the final day of indulgence before the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent and 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.  As the largest Mardi Gras celebration on the West Coast, Gaslamp Mardi Gras has become a signature San Diego event with a distinct Southern California flavor. Just last year in 2014, we celebrated our 20th anniversary, and this year will be the 21st Gaslamp Mardi Gras celebration!

When and where is Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Gaslamp Mardi Gras will be held on Fat Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, a world-class entertainment district in downtown San Diego, America’s Finest City.

What should I wear?

Be festive! Many people dress in costume for Gaslamp Mardi Gras. Think feathers, boas, masks, gold, purple, satin, leather and lots and lots of beads! See our picture gallery from last year for ideas.

If it rains, will the block party be cancelled or can I bring my umbrella?

Rain or shine, the event will go on. Umbrellas are not allowed into the block party, but there are plenty of locations to duck inside if Mother Nature decides to rain on our parade.

What is Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Gaslamp Mardi Gras is San Diego’s largest outdoor carnival and one of the largest Fat Tuesday celebrations in the world. Every year on Fat Tuesday, 20,000 revelers from around the world flood the streets of the historic Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, America’s Finest City. Gaslamp Mardi Gras returns on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 for its 21st celebration of Mardi Gras.

Where will Gaslamp Mardi Gras take place?

The event will take place in the heart of downtown San Diego in the historic Gaslamp Quarter is. The block party and all presenting bars and clubs are along the famous Fifth Avenue from E to L Street. 

Where does the Ultimate Mardi Gras VIP Party start and end?

The VIP opening party will be at Vin de Syrah, and the night will close at Sevilla Nightclub.

Must I follow the Ultimate Mardi Gras VIP routes?

The map lists all the offers and the hours they are valid for and contains suggested routes. You are welcome to crawl at your own pace and end anytime and anywhere. Make sure to pay attention to the time restrictions to avoid missing out on certain offers!

How can I make the most out of my Ultimate Mardi Gras VIP Package?

1. Round up your best krewe and purchase your tickets in advance.
You’ll save money and won’t be left out if the event is sold out. Also, discounts are available for groups of 8 or more.
2. Start early.
All online purchasers must pick up their VIP badges at the Block Party Main Gates (Gate 1: 5th Ave & Broadway or Gate 2: 5th Ave & L St) between 5-11pm. There are many parties to enjoy, so arrive as early as 5pm and no later than 9pm to maximize your enjoyment!
3. Observe the time restrictions.
Some offers expire at between 10pm-midnight, while others are good all night. The hours are clearly printed so just be aware.
4. Costume up!
It’s Mardi Gras, so be festive and “Let the Good Times Roll!”
5. Stay up to date on event updates.
Like www.Facebook.com/ClubVIPSD and join the official FB event page at www.facebook.com/events/806692809374950/

Is Gaslamp Mardi Gras a ticketed event?

The 20th Annual Gaslamp Mardi Gras Block Party is a ticketed event from 5:00 PM to 12:00AM. Several blocks will be fenced off on Fifth Avenue from south of E street to L Street. The outdoor block party doesn’t offer in and out privileges and you must be over 21 to attend.

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 with Mardi Gras themed parties for you to indulge in. However, you will not be able to join the festivities inside of the Gaslamp District and the Club VIP Passport will be your key to accessing exclusive parties and the most decadent hot spots on Fifth Avenue

Why do I have to pay to get into Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

As much as everyone loves a free party, there are many elements that go into making Gaslamp Mardi Gras a success. All proceeds go towards covering the costs of the event, including street closures, entertainment, security, maintenance and safety.

What is included in General Admission Ticket?

GA entrance into Mardi Gras at 5th and  Broadway or 5th and L Street
5 stages with over 20 DJs and Performers, the Fat Tuesday Parade, no cover (some restrictions apply) drink and food special at over 25 Gaslamp  venues restaurants.

In & Out Privileges: No
Age: 21 and up
Date: Tuesday March 4, 2014
Hours: 5pm – Midnight
Entrances: Block Party Main Gates (5th Ave with Broadway or 5th Ave with L St)
FB Event Page: www.facebook.com/pages/SD-Mardi-Gras/182905865236886
Event Website: www.SDMardiGras.com
Organizer: www.facebook.com/McFarlanePromotions

What’s included in the Club VIP Nightlife USA Passport?

• VIP Entrance into Mardi Gras at 5th and Broadway or 5th and L Street
• No Cover + Priority Admission to the Top Mardi Gras Themed Parties on 5th Avenue
• 10 Welcome Shots (bartenders’ choice)
• Exclusive Parade Viewing Party at the Gran Turismo Club (overlooking the start of the Parade on 5th & E)
• Extended Happy Hour and Drink Specials
• Club Access to After-Parties until 2am (street party ends at midnight)
• After-Hours at Area 51 until 4am (cover may apply after 2am)
• $3 off parking (with the option to leave your car overnight at no extra charge)
• $20 UBER credit for first time users
• Discounted hotel room rate and/or special amenities
• Keepsake beaded Mardi Gras VIP Badge
• Mardi Gras Special Edition Club VIP Passport with club passes, drink tickets, map and guided route
Package is valued at over $300 but you only pay $30 to upgrade! Limited supply and will sell out!
*Time restrictions apply at some clubs
*Does not include access pass to Voodoo Lounge

In & Out Privileges: No
Age: 21 and up
Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Hours: 5pm – 2am
Check-In: Block Party Main Gates (5th Ave and Broadway or 5th Ave and L St)
FB Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/185300238318884
Event Website: www.GaslampMardiGras.com
Organizer: www.facebook.com/events/506227749476538/?fref=ts | www.facebook.com/ClubVIPSD
Club VIP Hot Line: 619.944.8900

What is Voodoo Lounge VIP Pass?

  • VIP Entrance into Mardi Gras at 5th and Broadway or 5th and L Street
  • Exclusive Restrooms at Mardi Gras
  • Exclusive Lounge Area at Mardi Gras
  • Four complimentary cocktails tickets to be used at exclusive bar inside Mardi Gras VIP Voodoo Lounge
  • $1.00 off drinks inside the Mardi Gras VIP Voodoo Lounge

In & Out Privileges: No
Age: 21 and up
Date: Tuesday March 4, 2014
Hours: 5pm – Midnight
Entrances: inside Block Party at 5th and Island
FB Event Page: www.facebook.com/pages/SD-Mardi-Gras/182905865236886
Event Website: www.SDMardiGras.com
Organizer: www.facebook.com/McFarlanePromotions

What is the difference between the Voodoo Lounge Pass and the Club VIP Passport?

The Voodoo Lounge VIP Pass is being offered by Mcfarlane Promotions Company, separate from ClubVIP, and provides access and benefits to a reserved area on 4th and Island. It is not valid for ClubVIP Passport benefits.


Where do I buy the tickets?

ONLINE (until 4PM the day of the event – based on availability):
You can purchase your online ticket at: https://tix.cnptix.com/Online/?siteID=1526&cartID=5baeace6-27c0-4712-a8a6-25f40041c8e9

Where can I purchase in person?

TICKET BOX OFFICES (purchase OFFLINE and receive your Passport ahead of time):
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)

Where can I purchase on event day?

Block Party Main Gates
Gate 1: 5th Ave & Broadway
Gate 2: 5th Ave & L St
Sales Hours: 4PM – 11PM (or while availability lasts)
The Keating Hotel Gran Turismo Level
432 F St (corner of 5th & F St) | T. 619.814.5700
Sales Hours: 4PM -11PM (or while availability lasts)
Cash Only

I purchased online, where can I pick up my passport?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 | 5PM – 11PM:
Block Party Main Gates
5th Ave with Broadway
5th Ave with L St

What do I need to pick up my passport?

Print-out of your online purchase receipt.

Can I change the name/pickup name on the tickets?

Yes. Tickets are transferrable and names can be changed on the original purchase. That way, you’re able to purchase tickets as gifts or for groups.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?


Will there be live entertainment at Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Yes, the block party will feature world-renowned headliners such as Snoopadelic, A-Plus, Los Rakas, Groovebox, Gent & Jawns, and the Rock It Scientists, who will be performing non-stop from 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM. There will also be dancers and street performers, and many of the bars and restaurants will feature their own live entertainment as well.

Will there be a parade at Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Yes, the parade is back for Mardi Gras 2014!

How do I get inside the Gaslamp Mardi Gras Block Party?

There are two main gates that will get you in to Gaslamp Mardi Gras. The North Gate will be located at 5th & Broadway and The South Gate is located at the corner of 5th Avenue & L St. Tickets will NOT include in-and-out privileges in 2014.

How do I get to Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

There are several ways to get to Gaslamp Mardi Gras. You can drive, walk, take a cab or hop on the COASTER or take the Trolley.

Driving to the Gaslamp Mardi Gras:

From I-5 South
Drive past the airport toward Downtown. Take the Front Street/Civic Center exit. Continue down Front Street twelve blocks to Market St and turn left (east). The intersection of 5th and Market is the center of the Gaslamp Quarter.

From I-5 North
In Downtown San Diego, take the 6th Ave. exit. Go left (south) on 6th Ave. In nine blocks you will cross Broadway to enter the Gaslamp Quarter at it’s top.

From Highway 94 West
The highway ends and becomes F Street in Downtown San Diego. Continue west down F Street twelve blocks to enter the Gaslamp Quarter at Sixth Ave from it’s east.

From Highway 163 South
Drive south through Balboa Park and the highway becomes 10th Ave. Continue south on 10th Ave six blocks to F Street. Turn right (west) on F Street and go four blocks to enter the Gaslamp at 6th Ave near the north end.

Where can I park at Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Download and print up your own Gaslamp Parking Map.

Tip #1 – Parking in the Garages!
Surface parking lots are the easiest to see, but they fill up fast. Look for the “6th & K Parkade” OR “Park-it-on-Market” at 6th and Market St. These 2 garages provide easy access and have reasonable rates! Also look for two big garages off 7th ave, just north of E St., Try Horton Plaza or the garage at the Convention Center, which has public parking available on most days.

Tip #2 – Office Buildings
Try parking at office buildings. There are hundreds of parking spaces intended for daytime use only, located inside office buildings. A little research on the Downtown Parking Map will pay off when driving in San Diego’s Centre City.

Tip #3 – Park & Ride.
San Diego MTS Trolley provides many great locations for you to park your car and ride a short distance into downtown. Try the San Diego Transit Trip Planner – it’s free!

Tip #4 – Park & Stay

Club VIP Passport is partnered with a parking structure that allows you to leave your car overnight:
Ace/Equity Office by the Chase Building is the designated parking structure located at:
707 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
There are 2 ways to enter the 8 storey structure
On 7th Ave (between E St and Broadway)
On 8th Ave (between Broadway and E St)
$3 saving voucher must be presented upon entry, so here are your options:

  1. Purchase in advance from Ticket Office
  2. Drive-by to purchase on the day-of before going to the parking structure

You may leave your car overnight until 8am on Sunday at no extra charge!

This offer is valid until the end of the year, so if you missed out on that $3 savings on March 4, you may use it on another weekend.

Can I take the COASTER/Trolley to Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Coming from North County? Take the COASTER!
For the first time in the history of Gaslamp Mardi Gras, the COASTER operated train service after midnight for the 2012 event to offer revelers a safe ride home. Party-goers also took advantage of two-for-one train ticket prices throughout Fat Tuesday. Purchase any COASTER ticket/pass, and a friend rides along free. 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. Stay tuned for updated information and special Gaslamp Mardi Gras 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 Orange Line to the Gaslamp Quarter Station at the south end of Fifth Avenue or get off at the 5th Avenue Station and walk one block south on C Street. SDMTS runs a special event schedule that will get you to Gaslamp Mardi Gras with plenty of time to spare for the party. in 2012, MTS also had extended hours through 1:00am. Stay tuned for updated information on the 2013 schedule, which will be posted at SDMTS. 

If I take a taxi, where should I be dropped off?

There are two Main Gates that will get you into Gaslamp Mardi Gras. The North Gate will be located at 5th & Broadway and The South Gate is located at the corner of 5th Avenue & L St.

I’m going green and plan to ride my bicycle to Gaslamp Mardi Gras. Will there be a place to park my bike inside of the event?

While we strongly promote going green, bicycles will not be allowed inside the gated area, though there are a number of designated bike racks located in and around the district where you may lock your bicycle.

Skateboards and roller blades are my main methods of transportation. Can I bring these wheels to Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Even though it is a fun way to roll around, skateboards and rollerblades will not be allowed at Gaslamp Mardi Gras.

Can I bring in my video camera?

No video cameras are allowed inside of the gated area with the exception of pre-registered media.

Can I bring my pet(s) to Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

As much as we love animals, pets are not allowed inside of the gated area. To show our appreciation for pets and their owners the Gaslamp Quarter holds an annual Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade in December. Don your dog in all of the Mardi Gras beads you get at Gaslamp Mardi Gras, and he can be in the running for best costume!

Will there be a place to store my gym bag/back pack?

Large bags such as gym bags and back packs will not be allowed inside of the gated area. You might want to skip the gym and burn calories by dancing the night away instead. There will be five hours of heart pounding music from an array of fantastic DJs

Are weapons allowed in Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

No weapons will be allowed at Gaslamp Mardi Gras. This includes guns, knives, mace, brass knuckles, or any other object that is considered a weapon. Gaslamp Mardi Gras is a time to indulge in the good things in life so no need for weapons. Also, while we love to see sparks fly, fireworks are also prohibited within the event.

Can I bring in outside food and drink?

No outside food or beverages are allowed inside of the gated area. This also means no coolers or glass containers. There will be plenty of places to quench your thirst and grab a bite to eat at Gaslamp Mardi Gras.

Will media be allowed into Gaslamp Mardi Gras?

Yes! Call GQA Communications Director, Brandy Shimabukuro at 619-233-5227 IN ADVANCE for more information on media requirements. Note: Only pre-registered, established media will be allowed into this event. Professional photographers who are not specifically on assignment with an established publication will not be admitted. NO EXCEPTIONS. Be prepared to supply the full name, job title, and publication/station/etc. of your team members that will be covering the event and require media access. They will be required to check in at the Media Gate. Have more questions about the Block Party? E-mail info@gaslamp.org or call 619.233.5227!
Mardi Gras in the gaslamp

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Terms and Conditions
What are the terms and conditions I should be aware of?

    • This is a 21+ celebration
    • Passes are only valid during event hours, Fat Tuesday, February 17, 2015, between 5pm – 2am
    • Benefits are valid only during specified hours on event day.
    • No cover admission is subject to capacity and sobriety.
    • Venues reserve the right to refuse admission or benefits to overly intoxicated participants.
    • Offers listed are provided by participating venues and subject to change.
    • Club VIP cannot be held responsible in the unlikely event of changes made by the venue.

Designate a driver, book a room, catch the trolley or Uber it.PLEASE DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE!

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