Pro Tips for Attending Mardi Gras

by GO GlobeHopper

With more than 40 large and small parades in Orleans Parish alone, it helps to have a game plan. Here are some tips on how to experience Mardi Gras.


1. Download a Parade Tracker

Parade like a pro. Take a look at the routes online ahead of time and keep track of parade progress with an app like WDSU’s Parade Tracker.

2. Do Some Research

Learn about Mardi Gras traditions ahead of time so you know what’s going on. For instance, if you want to catch beads like a local, yell out “Throw me something, mister!”

3. Learn How to Get Around

Travel by car, streetcar, bus, and taxi is often disrupted during Mardi Gras. Be prepared for a lot of walking or try renting a bike. You can track public transit disruptions at

4. Embrace the Whole Thing

Many people are unaware that Mardi Gras encompasses much more than just one parade on just one day. There are several weeks of activities leading up to the main event, so why not embrace as much of it as you can.

Each year, Carnival season kicks off on Twelfth Night (Jan. 6). If you want to celebrate with locals, hit one of the parades that roll on Twelfth Night – Joan of Arc in the French Quarter or Phunny Phorty Phellows along the streetcar route Uptown – or check out the ones on the weekends leading up to Mardi Gras Day, including Chewbacchus and Krewe du Vieux. The earlier parades are just as much fun and tend to be less crowded than ones later in the season. Plus, if you get started earlier, you also have an excuse to sample even more varieties of King Cake. Check out the guide to early Mardi Gras here for even more ways to experience the start of the festivities.

5. Stake Your Spot

Speak to locals and get their advice about the best possible places from which to watch the big parade. Be sure to arrive a little early to scope out a good spot near a restroom and to set up your chairs, ice chests, ladders, whatever. Try to keep your stuff at least 6 feet from the curb. Getting to know those that set up around you is often as much fun as the event.

6. Pace Yourself

With weeks of festivities, there’s no reason to overdo it on any one day. Make sure to eat right and stay hydrated throughout the celebrations. Know your limits. Yes, people bring kegs and full bars to the parade route. Enjoy and be smart.

7. Wear A Costume

Dress up. Brightly colored wigs, tutus, and/or sequins are always fun. Whether you’re wearing a full costume, or just a mask, hat, or wig, you’ll fit in best if you get into the Mardi Gras spirit. Anything purple, green, or gold will do the trick.

8. Mind Your Manners

Don’t forget, there are kids around. Please be respectful.  It’s no secret that racy entertainment happens in the French Quarter – it’s a good time for the right crowd. But outside the Quarter it’s all about families, relaxing, and enjoying life.

9. Hit the Bucket List Items

Want to make sure your Mardi Gras is truly one for the books? There are certain things you just have to experience. From the Greasing of the Poles on Friday before Mardi Gras to paying your respects to the canine royalty of the Mystic Krewe of Barkus, here are 17 must-dos to truly get the most out of the Mardi Gras experience.

10. Extra Things to Do 

If you’ve never been to ‘The Big Easy’ before, you’ll want to experience more than just the Mardi Gras celebrations. New Orleans is a vibrant city with a rich history, distinctive jazz music, mouth-watering cuisine, and supernatural roots. It is one of the most unique cities in all of the United States because of its multicultural and multilingual heritage. Take in as much of it as you can.  Watch our video Top 10 Things to do in New Orleans HERE.



Source: New Orleans Tourism Board
Photo – pxfuel


You may also like