Mardis de Grand Case is an annual festival held every Tuesday from January until May in the tiny village of Grand Case on the French side of St. Maarten/St. Martin. The festival brings together gourmet food, arts and crafts, music and overall fun. Think Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but with an island twist.

The festivities are concentrated on Boulevard de Grand Case, the main street of this once thriving fishing village that has become the epicenter for the island’s world class gourmet offerings. The street is closed off to vehicular traffic on Tuesday evenings.

The winding street is then lined with artisans and vendors selling homemade savories and sweets. The restaurants and bars are hopping on Tuesday and music fills the air. Various drum bands and string bands take to the street moving up and down trailing revelers in beautiful feathered and bejeweled carnival costumes.

Tuesday night is a great time to explore Grand Case. All businesses are opened and ready to receive guests. Meet artists in their studio. Chat with long-time residents who have been living in the street before it became a gourmet mecca. Some of their families have been living on the street for generations. Sample food from around the world. Take time out to indulge in the local offerings at the “Lolos” – the waterfront barbeque open air restaurants.

Parking in Grand Case Village is readily available. Getting there early means you can snag free parking in various places. If not, there are parking spaces available for a nominal fee.

Head to Grand Case and be part of the festivities while it lasts. It’s an unforgettable experience that will tempt you to return time and again.

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