Happy Carnival season! One of the biggest misconceptions we’ve run into with new residents about this time of year is that Mardi Gras is a single day. Technically, it’s true – “Mardi Gras” is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. However, Carnival season – which ends with Mardi Gras – is several weeks. That means multiple days of parades, king cakes and Mardi Gras festivities. This year, we are getting a good three weeks of parades.
Things kicked off last week with the very lewd (and creative) Krewe du Vieux in the French Quarter. Check out our Instagram page for photos or swing on over to LA to NOLA for more pix from that night. Here’s a relatively tamed snippet from it:
For Mardi Gras season, you can find a parade for every flavor.
• Want to nerd out and dress as your favorite Star Wars character? Head to Chewbacchus.
• Want a beginner parade you can bring all the kiddos to? Try one of the day parades Uptown this weekend. Pontchartrain, Choctaw, Freret, Carrollton and King Arthur are all good bets. Head toward the beginning where it will be less crowded. We’re normally able to find an calm space on Magazine Street for these parades.
• Are you a pet-lover? Don’t miss Barkus, where costumed dogs parade. You can even pay ($45-$55) for you and your furry friend to parade with the krewe.
• Looking for the classic, gorgeous, over-the-top parades? Head to Orpheus, Endymion and Bacchus.
• For memorable throws (trinkets tossed to you from float-riders), head to Zulu (decorated coconuts), Muses (glitterfied shoes), Nyx (decorated purses) and Tucks (toilet bowl cleaners and plungers).
In general, the closer you get to the Quarter, the rowdier the parade crowd will get. Night parades generally are rowdier than day parades as well.
We find the following sites helpful for Mardi Gras schedules and parade info:
Here’s the direct link to the full parade schedule and all the routes.