Mardi Gras is one of the most famous and most awaited festivals at New Orleans.
It is a major tourist attraction as people from across the world flock to New Orleans to participate in the revelry.
If you are traveling to New Orleans for the first time for Mardi Gras there are certain essential things you must keep in mind.
After all, it is a Carnival where thousands of people are merry making on the streets, there are all chances of you getting lost or hurt in such a massive parade.
So, as a first time traveler follow these tips and suggestions and enjoy the party!
Mardi Gras as you would be knowing is also known as Fat Tuesday and it is said to be the period between epiphany and Ash Wednesday i.e the beginning of Lent.
The Carnival culminates with parades and merry making.
Though it is celebrated in various parts of the world but it is most famous in New Orleans. Hence it is came to be recognized at ‘Mardi Gras at New Orleans’.
Visting New Orleans for First Time- Here’s What You Must Know
If you are coming for the first time to take part in the parades or just be a spectator to the fun and frolic, you should plan ahead.
It is important that you book your lodging beforehand since at the peak times it is quite difficult to get a room of your choice as most of the guests houses are already booked.
Once you have done so and arrived at New Orleans, you should have a complete map and idea as to where the party is, how far is it from your hotel and what is the means of transportation available to you to reach there.
You should check out the parade route in advance to avoid last minute hassles.
Mardi Gras Parade- Some Must Know Facts
Costumes form the most essential part of the fun. Hence choose your dress in tune with the party.
Be Aware of Locals-You should be aware of the locals there and you should respect them too.
So if you see some empty chairs by the side of the parade route, it is best to leave them empty as they might belong to some local group who might be camping there.
Always prefer to sidewalk– Never opt to move in front of the floats because there are chances that you might injure or hurt yourself.
Don’t even think of climbing barricades as you might get arrested. So it is good if you follow the rules of the festival.
Take a ladder– No you don’t have to take a ladder from your hotel room lolz. Rather there are hundreds of ladders which are already available there on the parade route.
Some of these are beautifully decorated too. So climb one of these ladders if you wish to take photographs as well as have a beautiful view of the parade.
Take a Friend– Yes, it is always advisable that you are not alone especially if you are a first timer. Take a friend with you to the Carnival and try to stick together.
Wear Proper Shoes-It is always good to wear sturdy shoes when you go out to enjoy the festival. This is so because you might be standing or else dancing or walking for a long period of time. If you are wearing fashionable shoes there are chances of these getting spoilt or cause pain in the foot.
Carry a Bag– During the street parades, you will be able to get lots of doubloons, beads, trinkets which will be tossed from the floats. So, be ready to catch these and carry them in a bag.
Go with Your Food Pack – You should take with yourself a pack full of eatables because it is highly unlikely that you will get the time to eat anything. So, pack your own snacks and water bottles when you go there.
Be careful all the time– Events like these are also known to be full of burglars and theft that are very active during the Carnival. There are on the lookout for people who can be caught easily.
Always remain cautious to see who is following you. It is also recommended not to take too much cash, expensive camera, mobile phones etc with you. And if you do take, be careful.
Take Public Transportation– For going back to your hotel it is advisable that you take public transportation. Know about the bus which will take you to your hotel. Stay away from dark or deserted places.
Last but not the least– Have Fun, Enjoy the Festival and of course Happy Mardi Gras ‘Let the Good times Begin’.