Coming Up: Mardi Gras
Don’t miss the biggest party of the year in New Orleans!
New Orleans is known around the world for its Mardi Gras celebration, so if you’re lucky enough to be in town, take advantage!
The parades actually begin before Fat Tuesday – this weekend, you’ll see parades in honor of Bacchus and Endymion occur. However, the parades on Mardi Gras is the biggest draw as it marches down the streets of the French Quarter. Various “krewes” across the city build floats for their parades, from which they throw trinkets and beads to the crowd. The first parade of the day is the Zulu Krewe at 8 AM, who toss coconuts to bystanders. After, you’ll see parades from the Society of St. Anne in Marigny, the North Side Skull and Bone Gang in Treme, and of course, Rex rolling through Canal Street with the traditional shades of purple, gold, and green.
Mardi Gras is an excellent time to wear some elaborate costumes, including ornate and over-the-top masks. Nearly everyone you see will be in a costume of some sort, so definitely consider wearing one yourself. Get one from Carl Mack, Fifi Mahoney’s, or the New Orleans Costume Center.
If you want to see some of the most impressive costumes from Mardi Gras past, head to Arnaud’s for their Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum, where you will find on display dozens of Mardi Gras costumes, accessories, and more dating back to 1941. Another excellent display can be found at the Carnival exhibit at Louisiana State Museum.
You can’t attend Mardi Gras without dining on King Cake. The coffee cake is covered in green and gold sugar or icing, and sometimes filled. Some of the best places to get King Cake include Dong Phuong‘s pecan take and La Boulangerie, serving up a traditional version. If you want a more unique version of King Cake, Cochon offers up an Elvis-inspired cake with peanut butter and banana, Frey Smoked Meat Co. brings out their annual milkshake, featuring flavors of traditional king cakes and topped with a slice of the pastry, and Bourbon House has their King Cake Bevvy, a cocktail that has managed to trap a king cake in liquid form and added a bit of bourbon.
Where To Watch
You’d be hard-pressed to find a spot in New Orleans that isn’t partying for Mardi Gras, but some are better than others. Fritzel’s Pub opens its balcony to partygoers, with tickets including an open bar featuring their signature hurricanes. The Bourbon Cowboy is selling tickets for 2 hour balcony access, which includes access to their extensive Cajun food buffet, the open bar including cocktails, beer, and wine, and bathroom access – something very important!