A First Timer's Guide to New Orleans Mardi Gras

Brandy

While Mardi Gras 2021 might look a bit different, there’s still a celebration to be had! Mardi Gras is an event that attracts both locals and travelers alike, and many people come year after year for the celebration. You’ll quickly learn who is a pro and a novice. If it’s your first time in the Big Easy for Mardi Gras, you might have some questions. Here’s our guide to experiencing the best first Mardi Gras in NOLA.

When is Mardi Gras in New Orleans?

This year, Fat Tuesday falls on February 16, 2021, and while this is the biggest day of parades, there are tons of celebrations and carnivals that take place starting January 6.

Prepare For Mardi Gras Ahead of Time

When visiting for Mardi Gras festivities, there are a lot of things going on and the city is very busy. It’s important to be prepared as you head out for the Mardi Gras party, so you bring what you need and nothing else. Keep in mind that cell service can be spotty, there’s a lot of traffic, parking is difficult, and there is a lot going on downtown and throughout the outskirts of New Orleans.

Here are a Few Tips for the Big Event:

  • Get out early to grab a good spot along the parade route (about 4 hours in advance is recommended)
  • Know your route getting to and from your vacation rental
  • Secure a rideshare service ahead of time if possible
  • Check the weather forecast and dress in layers when in doubt
  • Have a plan in place for meals (oh, and don’t forget to eat!)
  • Secure a meeting place for your group in case of separation
  • Have a bathroom plan in place: you can purchase a parade package from a local business or pay for a per-visit or day pass at restaurants and bars along the parade route
  • Bring an empty tote or bag to haul back beads and other goodies that are tossed into the crowd

One of the best ways to celebrate is by purchasing a package at one of the restaurants and bars along the route or a bourbon street balcony. It gives you space to sit down during the festivities, eat, drink, and, more importantly, secures bathroom access.

Don’t forget about your costume! Costumes are a part of the experience, and there are multiple contests taking place throughout the city. No level of creativity is too much.

Book Your Stay In Advance

Mardi Gras draws visitors from all over, so the sooner you can secure your stay here the better. Book your vacation rental in New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2021 and start planning the party of a lifetime.

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