How to Survive Mardi Gras in New Orleans Like a Local

How to Survive Mardi Gras in New Orleans Like a Local

Put your party pants on.
No party starts without a little pre gaming, and in the deep south, we don't waste any time.  Mardi Gras day is kind of like a long tailgate, so you'll need all the food and all the booze, but don't forget to pace yourself.  You start the drinking as soon as you're up and you don't stop until the next morning.  If we're talking in tailgating terms, you don't want to be the one who's already out before kickoff!

Get a box of Popeye's chicken & a side of red beans and rice.  
Ask any local and they'll tell you this is an absolute must on Mardi Gras day.  Park your lawn chair in the neutral ground and bust open that box of fried chicken.

Eat a king cake, preferably from Randazzo's.
You'll need the carbs to help balance out the beer, hurricanes, and hand grenades.  If you're lucky and get the baby, you've gotta keep the tradition rolling (buy the next king cake).

Don't question those weird tall things with babies sitting on top of them.
Those are Mardi Gras ladders and they're completely safe.. or so we like to believe.
Wear comfortable closed toe shoes.
If you're brave enough to venture down good ole Bourbon Street, expect your feet to be black when you are done.  The smell alone will give you an idea of what you're walking on.  And if you think you'll be able to navigate as you please, think again.  You'll have thousands of others waiting to step on your feet!

Don't be afraid to venture off of Bourbon Street.
In fact, most locals know better than to go down there on Mardi Gras.  There are tons of parades all over the city and surrounding areas.  If you insist on seeing a rather interesting show, proceed, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Most importantly, laissez les bon temps rouler.  
That translates to "let the good times roll".  After all, they don't call New Orleans the best city for nothin'.  We're always ready to party and have a good time, so get ready!

For the 2014 Mardi Gras parade schedule, click here.

Carnival Time by Al Johnson on Grooveshark

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