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Port Arthur store helps residents get ready for Mardi Gras Southeast Texas

The annual Mardi Gras parade and festival have been a rich Southeast Texas tradition for about 31 years.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Beaumont residents are less than a month away from celebrating Mardi Gras Southeast Texas and many are counting down the days until the big celebration.

Mardi Gras Southeast Texas is kicking off on Thursday, Feb. 16 and will run through Sunday, Feb. 19 in downtown Beaumont at the Great Lawn and around the Beaumont Event Center.

In lieu of the upcoming holiday, a store in Port Arthur is not only helping people get into the Mardi Gras spirit, they are also teaching about the cultural importance of Mardi Gras for the area. 

The Mardi Gras Store in Port Arthur is open for business. From brads to creative umbrellas, the store has been supplying Southeast Texans with Mardi Gras accessories since 1993. 

"Mardi Gras Southeast Texas was the vision of two gentleman that were life-long friends,” Laura Childress, president of Mardi Gras Southeast Texas for all, said. “They were wanting to do a fundraiser for churches and non-profit organizations in Southeast Texas.”

The annual Mardi Gras parade and festival have been a rich Southeast Texas tradition for about 31 years.

MORE: Full Schedule | 2023 Mardi Gras Southeast Texas 

The Mardi Gras Store was created after organizers realized residents needed a place to get festive gear.

“The store became necessary because we needed a source or a supplier for beads, trinkets, hats, all the festive things that Mardi Gras people love and enjoy," Childress said. “We have beads. We have lots of items. We have hula hoops. We have balls. We have table decorations."

A portion of the profits from the store and Mardi Gras events go to non-profit organizations.

"They go into the same general fund that admission from the event or ticket sales goes into,” Childress said. “It all comes back down to a bottom line, and then we turn around and divide that up among the nonprofits."

There 14 nonprofits the store and Mardi Gras events benefit.

"There are churches,” Childress said. “There are foundations. They're just nonprofits that were in the community that needed to raise money for the projects that they had."

Anyone who would like to form a crew and have a float can go to the Mardi Gras Store and sign up in person until February 10, 2023.

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