It’s Mardi Gras in May! Get that New Orleans culture without leaving San Diego at the 14th annual Gator By The Bay, taking place Thursday, May 7 through Sunday, May 10, at Spanish Landing Park across from the San Diego Airport. The largest, most authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou, Gator By The Bay is presented by San Diego’s Bon Temps Social Club and features four days of live music with over 85 musical acts on six stages, along with 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked from Louisiana, non-stop dancing, shopping, playing and eating on the beautiful San Diego Bay. We are giving away two tickets to attend on Friday, May 8. Keep reading for all the details and be sure to enter.
“This is a festival where there is something for everyone. I can guarantee that you will discover something that you haven’t seen, heard or tasted before,” said Peter Oliver, a Gator By The Bay producer.
The festival will kick off with a concert headlined by BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet on Thursday, May 7 from 6-10pm. Since forming in 1975, Grammy winners BeauSoleil have claimed their undisputed role as the most esteemed Cajun group in music. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical recipe.
The festival boasts five wooden dance floors with 3,000 square foot dance floors at each of the two main stages. Dancing is strongly encouraged with free lessons throughout the day.
All areas of the festival are open to children to enjoy the music, color, spirit and activities of the festival. Special activities include participating in the costumed Mardi-Gras parades and making outrageous hats with the Rad Hatter.
Retail therapy is offered by carefully selected vendors in the market area, featuring art, hand-made jewelry, dancing shoes, clothing and accessories and Mardi Gras-inspired goods and clothing.
Thursday night concert tickets range in price from $25 to $95. Festival tickets range from $35 to $40, with discounts available for advance purchase and multiday passes. Children 17 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. Patron passes include access to the Patron Reception Area including a complimentary meal, personal meet and greet with festival headliners, complimentary craft beer from Redhook Brewery, select wines, soft drinks and water, private shaded seating and upgraded restrooms and additional reserved shaded seating near both main stages. This is available for $120 per day (Saturday or Sunday) or $200 for both days.
Financial support for Gator By The Bay is provided in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement program. Additional support is provided by the Port of San Diego, Redhook Brewing Company and The San Diego Reader. The festival is presented in part by the Louisiana Office of Tourism and their affiliate tourism bureaus. Find all festival, ticket, lodging, parking and free shuttle info at GatorBytheBay.com.