Well… Mardi Gras was a blast! New Orleans has become one of my favorite cities to visit – the music, food and culture always make for an amazing time. Mardi Gras is an experience in itself with costumes, street parties and parades. Mardi Gras is a definite bucket list experience!
– What is Mardi Gras –
Mardi Gras is the last Tuesday (also known ‘Fat Tuesday’) before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. There are celebrations for weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday known as Carnival. Krewes (pronounced the same way as “crews”) are the organizations that put on parades and balls throughout Carnival season.
– What To Expect –
With Mardi Gras, my one piece of advice is… be prepared to have a ton of fun! Everyone, from young to old, from tourist to local, is there to have a blast. In fact, most schools in New Orleans close for a week to let the students enjoy the festivities. It’s a very lively atmosphere with parades, music, floats, dancing, drinking and King Cake eating. As the parades roll by, you can try your best to catch the throws which are usually beads, cups, stuffed animals, tote bags, glasses, hats and more.
You’ll definitely want to walk along the parade route as the street will be closed to cars, and make sure to arrive early to get a good spot! There will be crowds throughout the city but try to embrace the chaos and join in on the fun. Laissez les bon temps rouler, as they say!
– When To Go –
While Fat Tuesday is the biggest day with seemingly endless parades, the entire weekend before as well as Monday, known as Lundi Gras, are filled with celebrations and parades so plan to arrive on Friday or Saturday to get the full experience.
My favorite parades were Bacchus and Muses which are usually the weekend before Fat Tuesday!
– What To Wear –
Anything goes at Mardi Gras! Many people like to dress in costume, and you’ll see a lot of purple, gold and green. Remember that you’ll likely catch some wearable items too, like a funny hat, headband or pair of glasses!
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