Parade Maps and Apps
In 2022, Mardi Gras happenings and parades begin on Twelfth Night (January 6) and run through Fat Tuesday (March 1). Never has it been easier to have vital information at your fingertips — and not just for the big float parades that draw most of the attention.
Produced and hosted by folklorist and musicologist Nick Spitzer, who provides an absorbing mix of interviews, documentary features, commentary and music, American Routes is a nationally distributed, two-hour radio program usually focusing on individual artists and...
A key resource for New Orleans-centric music and cultural content as well as, both online and via its mobile app, listings about events and live music gigs.
Louisiana Music Factory
Louisiana Music Factory is an essential destination — a veritable shrine worthy of pilgrimage — in a city whose musical heritage and vibrancy is second to none.
The mission of the “Guardians of the Groove” at WWOZ is to serve as the worldwide voice, archive and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.
Parties and Balls
While “society” Carnival balls are private affairs for krewe members and their invited, formally attired guests, some krewe fêtes — including post-parade “extravaganzas” staged by Endymion, Orpheus and Tucks — are accessible to non-members. Costuming or fancy dress, drinking and dancing, live music, frivolity and pretend royalty are all key ingredients in the common quest to let pleasure rule.
How to Ride in a Parade
Riding on a float in a Mardi Gras parade — bestowing coveted baubles into the outstretched hands of a jazzed crowd — can be quite a thrill. Fortunately for those with a yen to play Santa Claus, some parading krewes let outsiders join in the fun — for a price. A ride...
Step ladders with seats attached are a favorite way to provide kids with a prime parade perch and help them snag lots of throws.
Flashing for Beads
As flashing for beads has evolved into a Mardi Gras pastime, “Show your tits!” has become as much a part of the lexicon as “Throw me something, mister!” But those inclined to revel in the risqué should be mindful of the fact that what was once a spontaneous and casual...
Balconies & Grandstands
While there’s something to be said for mixing it up with the hoi polloi in the streets, access to grandstands and balconies does offer certain advantages. Because let’s face it: The Greatest Free Show on Earth draws quite a crowd, and if you’re stuck in pedestrian...
Drinking and Mardi Gras
Alcohol flows more freely in New Orleans than almost anywhere else in the United States, and New Orleans cops are generally tolerant of intoxicated partiers caught up in the thrall of Mardi Gras Madness. But those looking to take full advantage of the city’s famously...
Weather and Clothing
Weather in New Orleans during Mardi Gras can vary considerably, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing.
Finding a Place to Pee
Incorporating lavatory logistics into your Mardi Gras game plan.
Factors to weigh in choosing hotels for Mardi Gras and when to book them.
Dealing with the Police
New Orleans cops generally take a “live and let live” approach during Mardi Gras, but that doesn’t mean the coast is all clear when sailing several sheets to the wind. Every year during the party frenzy ending at midnight on Fat Tuesday, a multitude of imbibers and...
Driving and Parking
Perhaps the only thing worse than getting caught in parade-related traffic is returning from a parade to find your car has been towed for being illegally parked. The city’s Parking Violations Bureau is notoriously unmerciful during Mardi Gras, so if you’re driving,...
Ride-sharing, Taxis and Public Transportation
Ride-sharing and public transportation apps have greatly improved options for getting by in New Orleans without a car.
Bringing the Kids
Bringing the kids to Mardi Gras is routine for most locals but more of a logistical challenge for visitors.
Tips and Tricks Intro
Advice and insights on navigating the ins and outs of a sprawling extravaganza that can be challenging to get one’s arms around.
Increasing your chances of reaping a worthy share of the coveted spoils begins with recognizing that, while throws are sometimes tossed at random to parade audiences, most of what float riders toss is aimed at specific people, with a lot of the best stuff saved for...
Words to the Wise
Be mindful of the fact that the laissez-faire atmosphere of Mardi Gras can cause visitors to become more prone to take risks and let their guard down. Especially for those seeking to revel in the risqué side of the festivities, some precautions are in order.Watching...
New Orleans Mardi Gras parades are a feast for the senses, with floats that bemuse and entertain, bands full of joyful noise, inspired dance troupes and showers of baubles that stoke an exhilarating feeding frenzy. Can’t you almost feel da boom of dat big bass drum?...