Mardi Gras is an international celebration that marks the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. Often called Fat Tuesday or Carnival, Mardi Gras is a time to party, celebrate, and indulge before the Lenten season.
Despite the traditional parades, costumes, and outlandish revelry, there have been plenty of unfortunate things that happened on Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday crimes and Mardi Gras tragedies have become more prevalent as crowds have grown and celebrations have become wilder and wilder each year. Because of the holiday's emphasis on the consumption of alcohol and deliberate debauchery, it is inevitable that some participants get caught up in unfortunate incidents and even grave misfortune.
Seattle Mardi Gras Riot Resulted In A High-Profile MurderVideo: YouTube
What started out as a fun night of Mardi Gras revelry turned to tragedy in 2001 when an estimated 4,000 people spilled into Pioneer Square and brawls began. A full scale riot broke out during which groups of people targeted innocent bystanders while the police were severely outnumbered.
One man, Kris Kime, attempted to help a woman knocked to the ground and was assaulted and stomped repeatedly. Kime bled internally, the result of a fractured skull, and died in the hospital. His assailant, 17-year-old Jerell Thomas, received a 10-year jail sentence of which he served approximately eight and a half years.
The 2015 Mardi Gras Krewe Of Muses Parade Resulted In Deadly Violence
The Mardi Gras season features nightly parades culminating in one grand celebration on the day of Mardi Gras. On February 12, 2015, during the annual Krewe of Muses parade in New Orleans, an altercation broke out along the parade route,and two men were shot to death amidst thousands of spectators. The incident occurred at an intersection along St. Charles Avenue - one of the most prominent and historic thoroughfares in the city.
On September 12, 2016, 19-year-old John Hicks pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of the two men and received a 45-year jail sentence.
The Carnival Tragedy Of 1823 Left More Than 100 Boys Dead
Carnival is the weeklong celebration before Ash Wednesday - the day after Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is considered to be the American version of Carnival - though Carnival itself is celebrated in many parts of the US. Long before Mardi Gras became popular, Carnival celebrations were held worldwide and often included parties and excessive eating and drinking.
In 1823, young boys living in Malta came together to celebrate Carnival by receiving free food provided by the government at a local convent, used as a way to keep the boys from the chaos and adult activities in the streets. But as the ceremony began, a scramble for the bread ensued and resulted in a stampede. Some boys - mostly ages 8 to 15 - were caught in the confined corridors and tight staircases of the convent. Adults came to get their share of free bread and a melee broke out, leaving 110 boys trampled to death.
Philly Mardi Gras Riots Resulted In Mass Chaos
In 2001, Philadelphia's Mardi Gras celebrations started off fun but ended in chaos. Despite major precautions at the city's Mardi Gras parade, unrest broke out.
Crowds tore down road blocks, and rioters broke into a liquor store and looted it as well as nearby businesses, threw bottles at police, and forced businesses to shut down early. Two-hundred people were arrested as a result.