Many New Orleans visitors think that Mardi Gras only last a day. They think it’s 24 hours of parades and masks, then everyone goes home and waits another 365 days to do it all over again.
Well, good news: They’re wrong!
Much like Christmas, Mardi Gras is a season. This year, the season officially kicked off Jan. 6, the day of the Twelfth Night, also known as The Epiphany. From Jan. 6 through March 4, the good people of New Orleans celebrate Mardi Gras.
There were a few parades on Jan. 6 to kick off the Carnival season, but the bulk of the Mardi Gras parades begin Feb. 15. with the Krewe du Vieux parade through the French Quarter. From then until Fat Tuesday, March 4, parades will regularly be rolling through the French Quarter, down St. Charles Ave. in Uptown and through the Central Business District, and in New Orleans’s suburbs, like Metairie.
Mardi Gras season also means King Cake season. Sure, you can probably buy king cakes in other parts of the country, or order them online and get them shipped to you from New Orleans. But nothing beats walking through the French Quarter and stopping in a local shop for a fresh slice.
What a lot of people don’t tell you is that you can visit New Orleans during this time frame before Fat Tuesday and still get a great Mardi Gras experience. The main weekend people fill New Orleans to celebrate is the weekend of Feb. 28, but if you come the weekend before, Feb. 21-23, you get the same experience without the sometimes-overwhelming crowd.
The French Quarter is the place to be during this time, which means we’re one of the best hotels to stay in. Hotel Provincial is walking distance to Bourbon Street (the heart of Mardi Gras), and the streetcar line, which will take you to see the parades Uptown.
We actually still have a couple of rooms available in February. You’ll want to book now though, because they will fill up soon. You can make a reservation online, or give us a call to discuss what you’d like: 504-581-4995.
Hope to celebrate with you soon!