When guests arrive at The Tremont House they are greeted with a colorful arch decorated in bright colors and lights. As the sun sets, the arch makes the perfect backdrop for photos to capture the fun and romance of Galveston and is a constant reminder of Mardi Gras.
Galveston Island’s first recorded Mardi Gras celebration was in 1867 and included a masked ball and theatrical performance. In 1871, two rival Mardi Gras societies or Krewes were formed by prominent Galvestonians and began to host night parades, masked balls complete with elaborate invitations and costumes. These two Krewes were known as the Knights of Momus and the Knights of Myth.
During the years, these lavish parties and carnivals continued through February 1941. But as men and material were needed for World War II, these celebrations ceased as major public events.
Then in 1985, Galveston native George P. Mitchell and his wife, Cynthia, launched the citywide revival of Mardi Gras in conjunction with the grand opening of their new hotel, The Tremont House. This year also marked the resurgence of the Knights of Momus who held their first Grand Night Parade saluting “The Age of Mythology.” Nine floats created by New Orleans float-builder Blaine Kern along with marching bands passed in front of the hotel during a grand masked ball held on Feb. 16, 1985.
The Tremont House Ball was held for a total of thirty years commemorating Mardi Gras with various themes and music. The last ball with a salute to “Pearls and Prohibition,” was held March 1, 2014.
In 2015, as a tribute to George Mitchell, who passed on July 16, 2013, the hotel transitioned its famous ball to Mardi Gras party benefitting the George P. Mitchell Society of Texas A&M University at Galveston. He had been a 1940 Texas A&M University graduate and donated the land for Texas A&M University at Galveston’s main campus in his father’s name and has been recognized as the most generous donor in Texas A&M University history.
The Tremont House continues to be a huge part of Mardi Gras in Galveston with nearly every parade passing in front of the hotel during the two weekends of Mardi Gras. The hotel is host to the annual George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award Ceremony and the first parade of the season, the George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Parade.
Galveston now celebrates Mardi Gras with more than 20 parades and processions. Every year, hotel guests at The Tremont House can enjoy being in the center of Mardi Gras in Galveston in the Uptown Mardi Gras District.
About The Tremont House
The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand® Hotel, is owned by the Cynthia and George Mitchell family as part of Mitchell Historic Properties. The Tremont House is a 119-room boutique style hotel located in the heart of The Strand National Historic Landmark District and Galveston’s Downtown Cultural Arts District. The hotel features 14,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a bistro-style café, fitness center and two bars for entertainment – the 1888 Toujouse Bar and The Rooftop Bar. For reservations, call (409) 763-0300 or visit www.TheTremontHouse.com.
About Wyndham Grand
Wyndham Grand® is an ensemble of distinguished hotels that are approachable by design, representing one-of-a-kind experiences in key destinations with refined accommodation, attentive service and relaxed surroundings. A part of Wyndham Hotel Group, the Wyndham Grand family currently consists of approximately 40 locations around the world. Additional information is available at www.wyndhamgrand.com. Most Wyndham Grand® hotels are franchised by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC or its affiliates. Certain Wyndham Grand hotels are owned or managed by an affiliate of Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC. Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest hotel company based on number of hotels, encompassing nearly 9,000 hotels and approximately 790,000 rooms in 80 countries. Additional information is available at www.wyndhamworldwide.com. For more information about hotel franchising opportunities visit www.whgdevelopment.com.