Tips and Tricks for an Amazing First Mardi Gras

By now, you are well aware that Mardi Gras has begun occupying the famous streets of New Orleans. With an official date of February 13th, or Fat Tuesday, locals and visitors are gearing up for fantastic viewing, eating and celebrating in the city’s largest yearly attraction . For first time attendees, there are a few things you should probably know

Vocabulary. What is a Krewe? A Krewe is a parade organization, with names like Krewe du Vieux, Krewe of Bacchus, Krewe of Orpheus, and Krewe of Endymion. Many are named after Greek or Roman mythology, and each presents its own theme of celebration. What are Throws? Hint: You’ve seen them on campus hanging from trees. Yes, those famous beads, trinkets, toys, cups and doubloons- all throws - literally thrown from parade floats. What is a doubloon? a Mardi Gras coin. Often in colors of purple, green, and gold, but equally exciting in all colors.

Necessities. First and foremost, you need a group of friends with whom to explore and attend Mardi Gras festivities. It is crowded, it can be loud, and there are loads of people who may not be of sound mind. Make sure you watch out for one another and be careful. The French Quarter can be rowdy, and is a different scene from Uptown. Have fun, but stick together. A second necessity is paraphenalia - costumes, masks, leggings, feathers, glasses, and anything bright and colorful. Everything can be found on Amazon Prime, of course. Next, wear comfortable shoes. You will be standing or walking for hours. St. Charles hosts fabulous parades, but it’s a nice, long street. Good shoes are a must. And finally, BYOW&T...can you guess it? Bring your own water and tissues! Water needs no explanation, but the tissues?? Yes, you will be visiting many portable along the way. There will be no toilet paper. Gross but true. Be prepared.


Now that you have a little flavor of what’s to come, get ready to have the time of your life. Mardi Gras has endless energy, marvelous music, astounding costumes, and unimaginable fun. As a second year attendee, I would advise that you take breaks. The excitement is continuous, so pick what you’d like to see and don’t fret about the rest.

Lastly, don’t forget about the food. If you’re an adventurous NOLA eater, it’s a good time for crawfish, cheese fries, po’ boys, shrimp and grits, dirty rice, gumbo and the famous King Cake.

All good wishes for a fun Mardi Gras celebration. Be safe.