Taking precautions always makes sense whenever you plan to attend a parade or other public street fair and Mardi Gras is no exception.
People from all over the world converge on the city of New Orleans throughout the Carnival season, but the last few days counting down to Fat Tuesday are particularly crowded.
If this is your first time taking part in the Big Easy's massive party or even if you're a Mardi Gras veteran, here are a few things to keep in mind. These 5 tips will help you enjoy the festivities even more:
1. Get an early start
Plan to arrive at parade routes near the beginning of where the krewes will be starting out. When I say early, I mean at least 3 hours. Crowds will swell up quickly and you want to make sure you'll be able to see the floats and be close enough to catch the throws.
2. Dress the part
When I say pay attention to what you're wearing I don't mean just your costume. Check the weather prior to leaving since it can vary this time of year. Plan on layering your clothing; it can be warm, cold, rainy or sunny.
3. Have a game plan for meals
While you're on the parade route it'll be difficult to get food since restaurants will be incredibly crowded. You may be able to find vendors that have snacks, but don't count on it. Pack your own lunch and try to keep your bag as light as possible, it will be a very long day. Besides you'll need room for the beads and throws you're going to catch!
4. Forget about driving
Don't be concerned about trying to drive anywhere during the Mardi gras weekend. The entire
French Quarter is closed off for vehicle traffic unless you're driving a float or your car is in the parade with a krewe. Cabs will be difficult to find as well so plan a walking path from your hotel to the parade route.
5. French Quarter is NOT for kids during Mardi Gras
Stay on the parade route areas in Mid-City, Uptown, Central Business District and other areas of the city if you're coming to enjoy Mardi Gras with children. The out of control, risque behavior that gets all the media attention happens in the French Quarter, particularly on Bourbon Street. There are no parades in that area and that's the main reason you came! Most of the Mardi Gras celebrations are family friendly, so no worries if you keep to where the floats travel.
Hope this helps, if you have any questions or want to add tips from your own Mardi Gras experiences feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading.
*** Want more travel tips? Click here for my post on catching beads and click here for the one on solo travel during Mardi Gras. And most of all, have fun! Yeaaah!
The Mardi Gras Girl