With more than 50 parades, the celebrations that make up Mardi Gras 2016 are a non-stop carnival of New Orleans fun! The festivities may have started in January, but you can still catch the best events of Fat Tuesday weekend. Wondering how to make sense of navigating the flamboyant floats, masked revelers, marching bands, and swarming revelers? Here are six tips to help you make the most of the last days of Carnival.
- Time your visit. The lineup of parades is underway, but the best time to be in NOLA is the extended weekend before Mardi Gras (Feb 5-9) when you can catch the most popular parades.
- Pick your procession. Parades travel through New Orleans on different routes. Download a tracker app like the WDSU Parade Tracker on iTunes or Google Play to be sure you don’t miss the fun.
- Consider your view. What is most important to you during a parade? Like to be close to the action? Watch from above? Do you need somewhere to sit? Do a little research to avoid disappointment.
- Dress in costume. Get into the Mardi Gras spirit and join in the fun! It’s your chance to dress up as anything imaginable and get in on the costume contests taking place in every part of the city.
- Step on doubloons. With everyone leaning over to grab for coins, you might just get knocked over. Instead of reaching down, step on the doubloon to claim it and wait for the time between floats for a safer chance to pick it up.
- Be Mindful of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. From the final weekend of Carnival until Tuesday night, Bourbon Street and the French Quarter are considered adult areas. If that much revelry is not to your taste, there are plenty of quieter areas to celebrate.
There’s still time to make the most of your visit to NOLA, so get ready to catch some beads on the last weekend of the biggest Carnival festival in the U.S. Grab a mask, order up a King Cake, and make your way to the parade route for an extravagant celebration you won’t want to miss!