ST. LOUIS — Mardi Gras mania took over Soulard on Saturday.
"This is an amazing crowd. They're so live. They're in it to win it," said Christina Sunshine.
"What I love is everybody is having a good time," added Angie Balencie.
A sea of people packed the streets. Rowdy revelers decked out in wild purple, green and yellow hats, feathery boas and, of course, lots of Mardi Gras beads after COVID-19 canceled the celebration last year.
But in 2022, thousands of Mardi Gras lovers were just glad to see all the food and fun back in full force.
At the new Social Bar and Grill, hundreds screamed, danced and jumped around with DJ Diesel (aka NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal). O'Neal, 49, was in St. Louis for his first Mardi Gras.
Even St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones enjoyed the 90-minute Mardi Gras concert.
"I brought my son here. He idolizes Shaq," Jones said.
Even after Shaq's afternoon performance was done, the party went well into the evening.
"Look around you (at the) energy (and) the liveliness. This is what St. Louis is!" said Meghann Wood.