GALVESTON, Texas—Mardi Gras revelers who want to join the festivities on the Strand in Galveston will have to fork over some cash.
For the first time in years, the admission fee to the main event is $15.
Mike Kumpas, who attended the event, didn’t like the idea.
"Oh the fee? It’s horrible," said Kumpas. "$15? Come on, that’s a lot of money."
The new promoter, Yaga’s Entertainment, is charging the fee to bring in more parades, more concerts and more security. The contract is for five years.
However, some vendors are not happy about the change either. Sarah Bhanji said she’s not selling near as many Mardi Gras trinkets.
"A lot of people are complaining that paying $15 at the gate is not such a good idea," said Bhanji. "They’re like, ‘oh well, we just paid $15 at the gate, we don’t come spend $15 on a hat or a light up or something like that.’"
The estimated crowd for the Knights of Momus on Saturday was 20,000. The season-long crowd estimate is 250,000.
Another vendor said he doesn’t believe the island will get as many people with the added cost.
"It’s not Disneyland, it’s Mardi Gras and there’s not much to do but drink," he said.