mr. 305 in the 409
Global pop star Pitbull brings his nonstop Miami party vibe to Tilman Fertitta's over-the-top San Luis Salute
How much do Houston billionaire/Rockets owner/hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta and rapper/pop star Pitbull adore each other? Clearly, quite a bit, as the "Don't Stop the Party" performer recently returned to Galveston to play Fertitta's over-the-top San Luis Salute — now in its 26th year.
As locals may recall, Pitbull — aka Mr. Worldwide — last gigged the mammoth Mardi Gras bash in 2016 and brought the house down with his Miami-fueled grooves. Fertitta and Pitbull are clearly a match made in gala heaven, as more than 1,800 tickets were sold within hours of the announce, many of the guests traveling from across the country to attend the soiree.
Last year's San Luis Salute was the largest Salute and Mardi Gras soiree ever, but as Houstonians are aware, Fertitta is all about bigger ad better.
That was clear the moment guests arrived at the dock for Fertitta's mega-yacht, The Boardwalk. Guests sipped Veuve, posed under the chandeliers in the tent, and snapped selfies in the $150 million, 77-meter yacht before heading to the gala at Fertitta's San Luis Resort in the Galveston Island Convention Center.
As always, the Mardi Gras element was ever-present, the "Gilded Masquerade" theme deftly crafted by party pro Richard Flowers of The Events Company. Party tables were adorned in gold, fab florals blooms, and animal print. True to Fertitta form, the fête featured a Vegas vibe with a floating, aerial violinist, dancers, sword swallowers, and party band The Big Beyond entertaining the black-tie crowd.
A Gulf Coast menu of short rib and purple-dyed shrimp and grits (a nod to Mardi Gras) — was the main course for the elegant dinner, followed by banana blueberry caramel entremet for dessert. Then, it was showtime, as Pitbull — sporting his trademark black aviators — hit the stage for a three-act show, plus an encore, making for a nonstop, island party.