Is there anything richer than praline pecan cheesecake? Yes. The history and traditions of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Let’s take a look behind the mask.
Louisiana was founded by explorer Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville on Mardi Gras Day 1699 and the party hasn’t stopped yet. Read more Carnival history here.
Easter hops around and, therefore, so does Mardi Gras. Get the explanation here as well as the dates from now until 2027.
Kids make Mardi Gras and have the most fun of all -- maybe. Our recommendation for families is to hit the more family-friendly (and local) Uptown parade route along St. Charles Avenue.
Mardi Gras Indian tribes are among the most fascinating and mysterious of New Orleans' cultural phenomena. Read more here.
Families park their ladders along the parade routes so their children can see the parades and catch lots of beads and stuffed animals, and not get lost in the crowd.
It means fun! Click here to learn the lingo of Mardi Gras.
Masking became a tradition because, during early Carnivals, people put on masks to be able to mingle outside their class and keep their reputation untarnished. Float riders are required to wear masks by law in keeping with the mystery and tradition, and many krewes never reveal who their king or queen is.
While you can buy tickets to some Mardi Gras Balls and for great seats in viewing stands around the city, most Mardi Gras events and all parades are free. That’s why it’s called “The greatest free show on Earth.”
While some people decide to costume all the time, you’ll always be fine in jeans, a T-shirt, and close-toed shoes. Mardi Gras colors (purple, green, and gold) are encouraged. Click here for some inspiration.
It’s can be warm, chilly, dry, or wet. Be prepared to wear layers, especially if you’re planning on catching both day and night parades. Also, if the weather has been rainy, waterproof footwear is a good idea. The parade route (especially on the neutral ground side) can get muddy.
The fastest way to get around during Mardi Gras is on foot. The streetcars run during Mardi Gras season but those along parade routes have limited hours and routes. See here for more information about navigating Mardi Gras.
There are a ton of restaurants located along (or near) the parade routes. There are also a number of food stands that pop up during the season, including food trucks. Try these bars and restaurants along the parade route.
Public port-a-potties are available for free or for a small fee all along the parade routes. Usually, businesses will allow you to use a restroom if you are a customer or pay a small fee as well. Use a port-a-potty or you’ll end up in a paddy wagon–public urination is illegal and Mardi Gras is no exception.
Lucky for you, we made one for you: Mardi Gras Bucket List.
Uh, like NOW. Flights and hotels fill up very fast and get more expensive closer to the date.