Jan 21

A Guide to Mardi Gras Parade Essentials

Image from Liberty’s Kitchen

Maybe you’ve heard it before, but in case you haven’t: Mardi Gras is a marathon, not a sprint.

Beginning January 6th on Twelfth Night and stretching to Mardi Gras Day, Carnival Season is not for the faint of heart. The week leading up to Tuesday, February 9th will see close to 20 parades on the streets of New Orleans, many of them passing just blocks away from South Market. Preparing for the three weekends proceeding Mardi Gras is quite an undertaking, but we have you covered.

What to wear? – This is really up to your personality (you can get away with a lot), but may we suggest the Mardi Gras collection from our friends at Dirty Coast? It’s impossible to go wrong when you’re wearing a bead tree shirt printed here in the Crescent City. If you’re looking to decorate your home for Carnival, make a stop at Hattie Sparks – they have plenty of accessories, and some great Mardi Gras t-shirts!

What to bring to the parade? – If you’re going to spend the days leading up to Mardi Gras on the parade route, then you’ll need to bring some essentials. First, we’d suggest stopping by Rouses to pick up some snacks. Unless you make reservations in advance, restaurants can be hard to get into after a parade, but The Company Burger is a great place to get a burger on the go. While you’re at Rouses, you might want to stop by their vast selection of local Mardi Gras brews. Abita Strawberry in a can is always a good fit, as is Abita or Barq’s root beer.

And, don’t forget to pick up a King Cake before they’re all gone! Our personal favorites come from Willa Jean, just remember that you’ll need to order two days in advance.

Where to go? – The French Quarter might get the attention outside of New Orleans, but for a good time stake out a spot on St. Charles for the Uptown parades and along Julia for Endymion.  It’s not unusual to have a hard time finding an open restroom during parades, luckily there’s an app for that.

Mardi Gras is a time for celebration, community, and fun. So start preparing, plan to go to all of the parades, and get your best “throw me something mister” ready!