10 Mardi Gras Must Dos

February 1 2023 | News

There are lots of things you shouldn’t do at Mardi Gras in New Orleans (flash, drink too much, tinkle where you shouldn’t), but here are 10 things you absolutely must do.

Join us here at the Hotel Provincial during the Carnival season which lasts between January 6  and March 1 this year. You’ll be glad you did. Without further ado, here are ten Mardi Gras Must-Dos.

1. Wear – better yet make – a costume

You’ll catch more throws, meet more people and have more fun, if you dress for the fest. This is one time in your life you shouldn’t be yourself.

2. Catch a Zulu coconut, a Muses shoe and a Rex doubloon

These are the most coveted throws of Mardi Gras. 

3. Spy a Mardi Gras Indian

Nothing compares with coming face to face with a Mardi Gras Indian. These guys spend all year hand-sewing their magnificent suits and then they’re never worn again. It’s a wonderful tradition and amazing to experience firsthand.

4. Get the King Cake Baby

In New Orleans, diets start after Mardi Gras, not New Year’s. Try as many different flavors of king cakes from as many different bakeries and restaurants as you can. Then argue about who makes the best on the way home.

5. Do a Super Krewe

No Mardi Gras experience is complete with a night at Endymion or Bacchus or both. The floats are gigantic, the throws generous, the bands snappy, and you’ll see celebrity riders having the time of their lives.

6. Go to a night parade

While day parades can be majestic, night parades have a certain mystery and magic about them. The flambeaux carriers and fiber optic floats make the sequins and the glitter sparkle even brighter.

7. Have a potty plan

Before you settle on a place to watch the parade, make sure you’ve scoped out the bathroom situation. Go where you shouldn’t and you might just go to jail. Check out this Public Restroom Guide.

8. Don’t overlook the marching clubs

Dancing troupes and marching clubs work hard (and play hard) all year long creating routines and costumes for the parades. Show them you appreciate what they do and have your phone ready. A selfie with a 610 Stomper is a real coup! Watch a video of the Stompers here.

9. Download a parade tracker app

Why wonder how long it will be before the parade gets to you when you can download a parade tracking app for free and know exactly where the parade is at any given moment? Gone are the days when you had to listen hard for sirens or the sounds of the marching band in the distance.

10. Bring a bead bag

Your neck isn’t long enough for all the beads you’re going to catch. Make sure you bring a duffel bag, a backpack or a pillowcase for your throws to every parade. Otherwise you’ll be making like Jean Lafitte, looking for somewhere to bury your treasure along the parade route. 

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