The Pattaya authorities propose to conduct a Mardi Gras in Pattaya each year. The Pattaya Mardi event usually kicks off on Beach Road near Central Shopping Complex on Beach Road. One of the attractions during the event is the colorful street procession which begins near the Hard Rock Cafe.
Pattaya's first Mardi Gras was held in 2009. It was promoted as "Pattay's first electrical carnival parade".
"Mardi Gras" means Fat Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. It is a carnival held in some countries on Shrove Tuesday (the last day before Lent) but especially in New Orleans. It is the day before Ash Wednesday. Many cultures around the world hold a festival or Carnival in the days preceding Lent, culminating in the biggest celebrations on Mardi Gras. Now Thailand has joined the list of countries that celebrate with a Mardi Gras.
If you like taking photos with your camera or phone then you will find plenty of photo taking opportunities at the Pattaya Mardi Gras.
The participants of the procession usually line up along Beach Road before it gets moving. Included in the procession are floats sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), school children from the local schools, Thai traditional dancers dressed in traditional costumes, marching bands, a few designer cars, stars from the local ladyboy show and several representations of local girly bars which featured the bar girls dressed in skimpy clothing. You might see some of the girls performing erotic dances on platforms harnessed to the back sections of pickup trucks.
The procession route is around five kilometers long and it takes about an hour for the procession to pass by. The Pattaya Mardi Gras processions that I attended started at approximately 5:00 p.m. It was a colorful, fun event, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.