No wonder, this adventure is incomparable as you get to experience the fabulous carnival surrounded by the southern charm, delicious food and passionate jazz music, so enjoy the adventure with the following activities:
New Orleans Mardi Gras Parades
There are several parades rolling down the St. Charles Ave, where you will feel free to mingle with the thousands of locals and visitors picnicking around the parade routes.
Your body will not be able to stop the adrenaline as you see live the display of artistic floats, impressive marching bands, and amazing dance performances. Especially, you will be delighted by the throws.
This tradition during the carnival processions makes even the quietest person scream passionately to get some of the millions of items thrown like beads, ice cream, cups, and watch out even coconuts.
Mardi Gras Parade Names
Here are some of the names of the major parades organized by the following Krewes; Rex, Endymion, Bacchus and Orpheus. These are all extremely popular due to their special effects floats, celebrity monarchs and uncontrollable amounts of throws.
Other parades include Athena, Babylon, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Sparta and many more. Each one with a unique theme usually Greek mythology or children’s stories.
Mardi Gras Day
On Mardi Gras day, the fun starts early as thousands of people invade the streets to watch the anticipated Zulu parade. In addition, dozens of marching clubs will be parading town’s streets including the Wild Tchoupitoulas and Yellow Pocahontas.
Image by: Miguel Discart
These two Native American tribes show off their majestic attires and passionate chants. At the French Quarter, the party continues all day and night as party-goers venture through the city streets full of vendors where drinking is endless.
Mardi Gras Krewes masked balls and parties
In order to attend some of these events you must know how the Krewes work; they are non-profit organizations who are entirely in charge of organizing Mardi Gras.
Some can have opened membership, meaning anyone can join, or closed membership, meaning only by invitation.
Image by: Pussy Footers
Older close krewes organize private masked balls for its members only, but newer krewes organize parties at some of the most prestigious hotels in the city, which are open to the public so feel free to join one of these parties.
What to wear for Mardi Gras New Orleans?
Costumes: bring out your adventure’s spirit and go over the top by wearing an exuberant carnival costume. You can wear a hat full of feathers and sequins paired with a humongous headpiece.
Or maybe you can opt for just a mask, which is a popular item among carnival goers. It adds mystery and anonymity making everyone feel free to release their wild self.
You can find all kinds of fabulous masks at the French Market as different artists set up shops during the carnival events.
So Why Mardi Gras New Orleans?
Mardi Gras will captivate your spirit with the incomparable mixture of carnival, transcendent southern traditions, and now-a-days inventions.
A true one of a kind experience where everyone will parade in jubilee feeling the carnival god’s blessing.
Mardi Gras celebrates the last night of feasting fat foods, also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’. The origin is catholic and the idea is to eat as much as possible before the fasting of lent the next day.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Tips
1# Bring Your Own Plastic To-Go-Cup
NoLa (New Orleans Louisiana) laws allows parade goers to have an open container containing alcoholic beverages, just be aware no glass or cans.
2# Portable Toilets
If you need to go is hard to find a bathroom but look for the portable toilets strapped to pickup trucks and ask nicely to use it.
3# Rent A Bicycle
Avoid the hectic traffic and limited parking by strolling at ease through the streets, also for your convenience some companies bring it to your hotel.
4# Leave Your Valuables At Home
You most likely be inside excessive crowds easy for pocket pickers to get access to you.
New Orleans Location and What to Do?
The City Of New Orleans, USA
Mardi Gras takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, located on the banks of the Mississippi River this majestic city has the nicknamed of the “Big Easy,” due to its non-stop nightlife, worldly known live-music, and unique cuisine, which represents its melting pot ancestry that includes Native American, African, French, and others.
Mardi Gras Location
The main street of St. Charles Ave is the host of the Mardi Gras parades with the backdrop of their amazing antebellum homes and grand mansions. The French Quarter also plays a significant part of the celebration with several buildings considered national landmarks, it’s a place to enjoy the architecture, cuisine and overall atmosphere.
Visit the National WWII Museum
Located in the central business district, the National WWII Museum is one of the finest in the country. Split into three distinct sections, this museum has a plethora of interesting exhibits and displays. First, we have the European theatre section containing memorabilia and military equipment from the USA militaries exploits in western and central Europe.
Next, we have the Pacific theatre containing items from Pearl Harbor and conflicts with the Japanese. Finally, we have the aircraft hangar which features a superb display of decommissioned WWII fighter planes and bombers. The museum is well put together and features narration from Tom Hanks and a multitude of sensory exhibitions.
Take a ride on the Mississippi River on Steamboat Natchez
The Natchez Steamboat is an icon of New Orleans and one of the cities most treasured historical items. It is possible to take a relaxing and enjoyable cruise on the legendary Mississippi River on board this beautiful vessel. Cruises can last for up to two hours and include an optional traditional creole cuisine and live jazz music. If you want a true slice of Louisiana living and heritage, we strongly recommend hopping on board the Steamboat Natchez!
See how it’s done at the Mardi Gras World
If you are visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras, what better way to get in the carnival spirit than taking a tour of Mardi Gras world? Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, this establishment is like a Mardi Gras equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory!
Guided tours of the factor are available and during your tour, you will witness exactly how the marvellous carnival floats are designed and created. Marvel at the work in progress creations, try on a beautiful costume and even watch sculptures at work. If you want to learn about the work involved in creating Mardi Gras, this is the place to visit!
Where to Stay?
There are several hotels, motels, apartments, B&Bs, inns, hostels throughout the city with amazing features and commodities at different budgets.
The Garden District Hotels
One important consideration when you book is location, you want to avoid driving rather walking to the events would be more pleasant. The Garden district hotel collection, which are located on the historic lower garden are amazing options because of their proximity to the parades on St. Charles Ave and their traditional New Orleans atmosphere.
Request a room with a window facing St. Charles Ave and you will have front seat to watch the parades from your window and enjoying your favorite drinks and food in the commodity of your room.
The French Quarter
If you would like to stay in the French Quarter, there are several accommodation options for those who enjoy the atmosphere of trendy bars and restaurants.
First, we have the beautiful and stylish La Galerie hotel which can be found in the heart of the French Quarter.
Only a short walk from the iconic Bourbon Street, this hotel benefits from a superb location. Each room is decorated to a high standard and features modern furnishings. Additionally, all guests can enjoy free parking and WiFi access.
Last but not least we have The Jung Hotel and Residences. Just yards from the immense Mercedes-Benz Superdome and only 900 yards from Bourbon Street, this is another fantastically located hotel.
The rooms are immaculately decorated and are all ultra-modern – this theme is continued throughout the hotel lobby areas. Guests can also make use of an on-site gymnasium, swimming pool and even an airport shuttle service!
Where to Eat?
You will be delighted by the city’s extensive variety of places to eat delicious food at every budget, especially, since the city is known to hosts some of the top chefs in the world.
Some New Orleans Dishes
Guarantee everyone will satisfied their taste buds with the famous southern food that includes fried chicken, sweet potatoes, and cornbread, just to name some, plus the acclaimed Creole cuisine dishes as oysters en brochette, smothered pork chops, and jambalaya.
In addition, a must eat are the king cakes so famous that more than 500,000 are baked for the carnival and it carries the traditions that if you get the doll inside the cake you either buy the following cake for your friends or you have to throw a party later, a fun way to continue the party.
On the opposite side of Lake Pontchartrain, you can find Bacobar. The main creation of this awesome establishment is their signature “Baco” which is an Asian taco served in Bao. The flavours and textures are sublime and the presentation is simple and rustic. Although not in the centre of New Orleans, Bacobar is certainly worth the trip!
If you want to experience a fine dining extravaganza, The Caribbean Room is one of the top establishments to visit in New Orleans. Housed within the legendary Pontchartrain Hotel, this restaurant has a dress code, and the ambience and décor are sublime. Notable dishes include the mouth-watering Red Snapper Pontchartrain and the traditional Mile-High Pie.
The Green Goddess
For those who prefer a vegetarian meal, The Green Goddess is possibly one of the best choices in the city. Located in the French Quarter on Exchange Alley, this restaurant prides itself on delivering high-quality vegetarian dishes alongside some traditional NOLA creations. If you love salad then why not try the Freekeh Salad (topped with cold wheat). Alternatively, the Lemongrass and Tofu Rice Cake is simply bursting with flavour!
How to Get There?
In most cases, you will be travelling by air into New Orleans, unless you are visiting the city as part of a road trip (which isn’t a bad idea actually!). The city is serviced by one international airport, and there are several smaller airports that require additional transfers afterwards. – in most cases, you will fly to the Louise Armstrong International Airport.
Louise Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
The Louise Armstrong Airport is the main hub within New Orleans and Louisiana. Located in the South Kenner district, this airport accounts for over 12 million passengers per year. Airlines servicing this airport include Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Condor, Delta, JetBlue, United Airlines and Virgin America.
From the airport
To reach the centre of New Orleans from the airport you can use either the bus service or a hotel shuttle. Shuttles typically cost $20.00 per person for a one way trip or approximately $38.00 per person for a return journey. Alternatively, Bus Route 202 and Jefferson Transit Bus E-2 both provide airport transfers and are operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.
For the most part, you will be able to explore New Orleans on foot – the city isn’t huge. Furthermore, walking gives you a chance to admire the fantastic architecture of the French and Garden quarters first hand.
If you do want to travel longer distances, you HAVE to hop on board a Street Car! This historic tram system has three lines and is part of New Orleans culture – the street cars are inexpensive and a fun way to travel.
Driving to New Orleans is made easy by the straightforward highway system and city streets.
If you have hired your own vehicle, some hotels have dedicated parking. Furthermore, the French Quarter does have public parking lots that cost from $7.00 to $10.00 for the day. Be wary however as these parking lots fill up fast, and some have restrictions.
With a Nav system type in ‘Mardi Gras Blvd, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States’ , for an easy arrival.
History Of Mardi Gras
In 1699, French explorer Pierre le Moyne and brother, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, settled on the Mississippi River near New Orleans during an expedition and proclaimed this area as Point du Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) as a French Catholic tradition marking the beginning of the festivity.
In 1703, the first organized procession was conducted but it was until 1837 that this celebration resembled what we know today. In 1872, the Rex (latin for King) krewe was founded and pronounced the official colors of the carnival as green for faith, gold for power and purple for justice.