With Mardi Gras just a couple months away, you may be in the planning phases of your trip to celebrate the holiday weekend(s). Mardi Gras is one of the biggest celebrations on the planet, and New Orleans is a welcome host to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year for this event alone. With so much to do and so many other people traveling for the same reason you are, it may be time to start finalizing these plans. Use these tips for guidance.
Decide Which Mardi Gras Parades You Want to See
This may be one of the most major definers of your Mardi Gras experience. Depending on what parades you want to see, your time spent in town could be much different. Do you have smaller children who might prefer the less crowded Metairie routes or certain parts of St. Charles Ave? Do you want to see the biggest floats and krewes on the Uptown and Endymion routes? Or do you want to catch the more intimate and smaller krewes in the French Quarter and Marigny/Bywater neighborhoods?
Each Mardi Gras parade is different, with different theming, floats, costumes, throws, bands, dance troupes and more. Some are more family-friendly than others. Some are more lewd and risqué but are always good for a laugh. Do your research into the different krewes to decide the best days to go and what parts of town you need to be in at which times.
Choose Where Along the Parade Routes You Want to Stand
In addition to knowing which parades you want to see and in what parts of town you want to be in, such as the French Quarter versus Uptown, you also need to know about where you want to stand along the parade routes. You can do some research into this, but it may also depend on where you are staying. Because it’s so difficult to drive during Mardi Gras parades and because much of public transportation, including the streetcar, is closed down along parade routes, you may want to catch the parades nearby to where you are staying.
Make Plans for Before and After Parades
You’ll also want to make plans for restaurants and other points of interest you want to visit when the parades aren’t going on. The city offers tons of events during Mardi Gras that happen before and after the parades, so take the time to research where you might want to go before and after the parades each day and night.