Whether you’re a local or this is your first time visiting New Orleans for Carnival, this handy guide will ensure you handle Mardi Gras like a pro.
Dress Comfortably: This is not the time to break in your new boots. Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes that can go the distance.
Layer: New Orleans weather can be temperamental. The days may be warm, but once the sun goes down, the temperatures can drop. Make sure to bring a jacket for cooler temperatures at night.
Hydrate: Mardi Gras is a marathon not a sprint. If you’re imbibing, make sure to pace yourself and alternate each alcoholic beverage with a bottle of water.
Stay in the know: Keep track of parade schedules by downloading a parade tracker app. This free app will keep you updated in real time when parades are rolling and where they are on the route.
Have a parade buddy: Even if you’re going with a group, it’s easy to get separated in the crowds. Make sure you and a friend look out for each other and you have each other’s phone number written down in your bag in case you lose your phone.
Parade check list:
Snacks: Although there are places along the route that set up pop-up bars and food stands, it doesn’t hurt to have a few items on hand.
Water: Avoid the lines and marked up bottles of water along the route, and bring your own.
Cash: Even if you don’t typically carry cash, it’s a good idea during Mardi Gras. You won’t have to search for an ATM and it will be easier to grab food and drink on the go.
Toilet Paper: Due to long lines at porta potties and restaurants, toilet paper can sometimes run low. Make sure to bring your own and keep it in a Ziploc, so it doesn’t get wet or dirty from other items in your bag.
Hand Sanitizer: Sinks with soap and water are far and few between along the route, so definitely pack hand sanitizer.
Now that you have your game plan, you’re ready for the route! Laissez le bon temps rouler!