MARDI GRAS: Enjoy Mardi Gras festivities in Hillcrest

by Miranda Adler

Courtesy of Greater San Diego Business Association
Courtesy of Greater San Diego Business Association

Looking for a place to celebrate diversity, enjoy live entertainment and show a little skin in exchange for prizes? Head to Hillcrest tonight for the annual Hillcrest Mardi Gras Street Party celebration.

If the promise of booze, babes and beads isn’t enough, keep in mind all the funds raised have a greater purpose.

“What sets Hillcrest Mardi Gras apart from other Mardi Gras events around San Diego is that Hillcrest Mardi Gras is a nonprofit community event, with all proceeds going to support our community.” Christopher Patrick, half of the marketing team for Hillcrest Mardi Gras, said.

The 10th annual Hillcrest Mardi Gras celebration is put on by the Greater San Diego Business Association, the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Hillcrest Business Association. Expected to have the largest turnout ever, University Avenue will be packed with an eclectic and lively crowd from 6 to 11 p.m. Live music and special performers including Kimberly S., Wendy Ho and the ladies from Lips are set to entertain this year. Food and a full bar will be available, but be advised this event is for ages 21 and older. The Hillcrest Mardi Gras team noted safety is always a top priority.

Advance tickets for the event weret $15 from the Hillcrest Mardi Gras website and participating vendors in Hillcrest including Baja Betty’s, Urban Mo’s and the Obelisk Bookstore. Tickets bought today at the event will be $20 though. Guests craving a fancier affair can purchase a VIP pass for $75 today, up from $50 if bought in advance. The VIP pass includes express entry, a private reception area and designated bathrooms.

Patrick said the money accumulated through ticket sales goes directly toward the GSDBA scholarship fund for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth within the community. Profits also go toward the Hillcrest Business Association, which Patrick said helps make Hillcrest the best neighborhood in San Diego.

“Everyday in Hillcrest we celebrate diversity; however, Hillcrest Mardi Gras is a time where we can add glitter, confetti cannons and performances to it,” Patrick said.