Mardi Gras time is here again! As a college student attending school in the south, there is only one place to go: New Orleans. The celebration begins on Friday, Feb. 5. Here are some ideas to make the most of the five-day binge before Lent. Plenty of king cake, crawfish, po-boys and beads included, of course.
As the official start of Mardi Gras weekend, head to the French Quarter for the afternoon to people watch and enjoy the fun. Later, head to Superior Grill on the corner of Milan and St. Charles for a 3 parade run: Hermes, Krewe D'etat, and Morpheus at night. While you're at Superior, you might as well eat some late night Mexican food, or head to Fat Harry's for some buffalo wings.
Make sure you get a good night's sleep Friday night, because Saturday begins around 12 p.m! This is the perfect day to walk St. Charles from Napoleon to Louisiana, meeting up with friends and having fun. Make sure to catch Iris and Tucks which run Uptown during the day. That night, Endymion rolls through Mid City and the Central Business District. This is a great parade to watch if you can make it. After a long day, head to F&M Patio bar for their famous cheese fries.
Okeanos, Thoth, and Mid-City run on St. Charles on this day, also beginning early. Catch the huge floats of Bacchus which rolls at 5 O'clock. This year's king is Anthony Mackie. You'll definitely catch a ton of throws at this spectacular parade. For a much needed break from the crowds, head to Reginelli's for some delicious pizza and pasta.
This is the day to sleep in. You've definitely earned it! After you've rallied, head back to Superior Grill area to meet up with friends and make sure to catch Proteus that night on St. Charles. This is one of the oldest parades in New Orleans. Don't expect to catch too much at this one. Instead, marvel at the artistic paper maché floats and flambeau carriers. After Proteus, be sure to watch Orpheus, a large parade founded by Harry Connick Jr. featuring many stars.
Mardi Gras Day is finally here! This is the last day to indulge and have fun. If you are up for it, catch Zulu on St. Charles past Jackson Avenue to try to catch a prized coconut. After Zulu, head Uptown to watch my personal favorite parade, Rex. The floats are truly beautiful works of art. Hanging around Superior Grill again today is a good idea. This will allow you to see some friends one last time and enjoy some more good food and fun! Later that day, head back to the French Quarter one last time for a great end to the Mardi Gras season!
Back to school. Unfortunately, you have class.
I hope this guide will ensure that you enjoy Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana! Special thanks to my dad (a long-time Mardi Gras vet) for the tips, and for showing me how Mardi Gras is done! If this is your first time experiencing a New Orleans Mardi Gras, or Mardi Gras in general, don't forget to have fun, be safe, try to keep your phone charged (even though you probably won't have service) and always travel with a buddy. Laissez les bons temps rouler!