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Mardi Gras Survival Guide

While at the WoodPEC the other day, I met a girl who was furiously working out. “Mardi Gras is coming,” she said. Students across campus have similarly begun preparations for the much-awaited spring break to parade down Bourbon Street. However, for those hoping to just ‘wing it,’ I highly recommend you don’t. Bad planning combined with Mardi Gras might just be a recipe for disaster, so here’s a few tips to make this the perfect trip!

BOOKING A HOTEL

New Orleans on this day is essentially a narrow street flashing with glitter, while beaded bodies try to squeeze past each other. Naturally, accommodating every one of these people is a monumental task. So, step one is to look for a place to stay. Experts (self-proclaimed, of course) say that, for Mardi Gras, one should have started looking eight months before the main day. With Mardi Gras just days away, it’s better late than never at this point. Do this before you book anything else, because trust me, you won’t want to spend your night sleeping outside on Bourbon Street.

FAT TUESDAY!

Turns out, Mardi Gras, aka FAT TUESDAY, is a time to release your gluttony side and revel in the French tradition of eating only rich, fatty foods. Mardi Gras is the ultimate “cheat day.” So, I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely joining that girl at the WoodPEC ASAP…

DON’T MISS OUT

On the weekend preceding Fat Tuesday, Endymion and Bacchus, the festivals biggest parades will take place. Zulu Lundi Gras festival is of course, on the day itself, but make sure you stay until Monday to attend Orpheus, another large parade. Because what is school, anyway?

PLAN THE DAY

Nights out are always fun—everyone knows that. But, at Mardi, the day is just as much of a party, so make sure you make the most of it! Of course, head to Café Du Monde for some world class Beignets. Other than that, here’s a handy website which will lead you the right way.

BEAUTY IN SIMPLICITY

Nothing fancy. Go as simple as you can because, as much as it is a celebration for tourists and residents, it’s also a happy time for pick-pocketers. It’s recommended that you not even take a purse or a phone (although you really need one if you’re looking to get the perfect Instagram). Set a meeting point with your friends in case you get separated by the throngs of people, because even as you desperately try to call your AWOL companion, what are the chances of them hearing it over the Krewes’ parades?

EAGER BEADER?

Head to the end of the parade! The folks atop the float reach the end of the parade with a single mission: get rid of all the pizzazz. So you may have to wait a while till the parade gets to you, but when you head home wrapped in beads, you know it was worth it.

So, that’s all you need to know. Whether it’s your first Mardi Gras experience or your last, follow these suggestions for a killer time!

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