According to NOLA.com, we will have 27 parades roll this weekend. New Orleans is such a relaxed atmosphere during anytime of the year. I love my city!! The city is filled with different events every weekend. Let me find out I missed a festival, second line or social shakedown (LOL)..
Last year, my husband’s first cousin came from New York to visit us during Mardi Gras. She had a whole list of questions for us before we went to the parades (like a checklist)..
I emphasized, there are moments of chaos, insanity and confusion. People are walking in the streets. I gave her a high level overview of what to expect during the festivities. I wish I had this list for her.
I composed a list of general best practices to use during Mardi Gras. If you are a local, you may be very familiar with this. If you are a tourist, it can truly be a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you are traveling with your family or on a mission to get to Rockstar status on social media, make sure you party responsibly. This blog, for all intents and purposes, is a guideline on how you can beat the streets safely.
10. Please practice common sense when making decisions. This is a very unique experience that people let you hang outside their shotgun houses or you can wander the streets. You may have to pay for some parking in their driveways..
9. Golden Rule- To catch beads from the Krewe, you have to chant: 'Throw me something, Mister! Even if it is a Mrs..she is still a Mister. I know, this is screaming female liberation. Just be prepared to learn new things and to expect anything (thrown at you)...literally.
8.You can’t sit with us! Don’t touch people’s stuff - It’s so Disrespectful. If you get there too late, do not move unoccupied chairs or ladders along the parade route to claim a good spot; it isn't an open space just because you can't see anybody there. Families tend to congregate at the same place year after year, save their spots, and get to know their parade route neighbors pretty well. Somebody is watching that spot. There will be plenty more areas to hangout after the parade is in full effect. If you move their chair or ladder, it won't go unnoticed. Keep your children close, and don't let them wander off. Don’t cross barricades and run into the streets. Watch your money, belongings, etc. it may be safe to keep in your trunk. Remember, the Neutral Ground (median) is public property, and it is illegal to block off areas for private use.
7. DON'T blame it on the al-al-al-cohol! It's okay to drink beer openly on the streets as long as it's in a can or cup, but you can't drink from glasses or bottles. Don't get wasted and behave irrationally with paraders and authorities. Flashing and other weird stuff.....not allowed either.
6. Know your route -Parades have different routes. It is a good idea to get a map of the city and study the areas you'll be visiting. If you are a tourist, your hotel concierge or front desk can help you with route times, traffic and parking. I love the parade tracker apps.
5. Uber everywhere! Cabs! Bicycles, Personal Vehicles, public transportation. Even public transportation can be difficult - bus and streetcar routes/schedules often change during Carnival season, so plan ahead and make sure you know when and how to get there and back. Don’t park by driveways, firehyrants or anywhere you wouldn’t normally park. If you stay in an outlying hotel, don't depend on them to supply you with transportation to the French Quarter or the parade routes. Although some have shuttles to New Orleans, they are often not in use during Mardi Gras season.
4. I got 99 problems...Respect the Authorities and my crown. Don't reach all over my head to catch beads and respect the PoPos. It could be NOPD, FCC, FBI during this time of the year. You gotta pass them alphabet boys, like an eye test.
3. Check the Weather – The seasons change, it can be very warm, perfect weather or freezing cold. Have that 7 day forecast at your reach during the week. It's a miserable experience to be wearing a turtleneck in 80 degree weather.
2. Play dress up -There are contests for costumes in every part of the city, and the crowd-watching is as much fun as the parades. Have that camera or smart phone ready for picture taking. You're going to want to share the outfit, colorful makeup and gangsta wigs with your friends/family. I enjoy taping the live news and watching it later that day.
1. Stick with your team. We came together, we leave together. Don't make any unnecessary ventures down other streets without your people knowing where you are. New Orleans is a fun city, but just with any event this size, there is room for error.
"Laissez les bons temps rouler "pronounced "LAZAY LAY BON TOM ROULAY"
New Orleans has weathered the storm and has proven years of experience throwing a party. You should feel empowered to think and act safely. The Police are there to help. Make sure your mindful of crowd control. I will share an example; If a crowd of people are all running down Napoloeon, don’t run down there. Pick a different route. If you need help, see an authority immediately.
I am a New Orleans native, wife, mom of two, social media blogger and Human Resources Executive! I love to read, write, travel, kid's activities, date nights with the hubby and GIRLS NIGHTS OUT!
I am self proclaimed food critic & ALL things WINE enthusiast (cheers) here in the city!
Follow me as I share my experiences through our "Girls Night Out" and "Moms Night Out" events and blog!