Join The Party at Mardi Gras Festival
Along Canal Street you'll find an interactive world full of colourful Mardi Gras characters, music, and fun as the boisterous parades stream by. Each Mardi Gras parade is represented by a krewe (or club) with each procession beginning with the presentation of the float for their King and Queen.
Trinkets (or throws) of purple, green, and gold (representing justice, faith, and power, respectfully), are bountifully thrown to the enthusiastic crowds – expect to see traditional Mardi Gras beads, doubloons, and cups, flying through the air – all in response to the catchy ‘throw me something, mister’ cries from the crowds.
The most well attended Mardi Gras parades are that of Rex and Zulu which are both very active social clubs in New Orleans. In the days leading up to the Mardi Gras festival, members of these popular krewes will elect their parade royalty, attend elaborate masquerade balls, and prepare their floats & throws for presentation.
Turn the corner from Canal onto Bourbon Street and you’ll find another interesting Mardi Gras world with a focus on food, music, endless alcohol, and rampant nakedness. This is where Mardi Gras turns into one huge party. Here the Hurricanes (a somewhat lethal concoction of rum, rum, more rum, orange juice, and pineapple juice) and boisterous crowds rein the crowded streets.
This Mardi Gras exposé can be shocking to some but it’s generally about having fun – or as they say in New Orleans, laissez les bon temps rouler – let the good times roll. Climaxing on Fat Tuesday everyone dresses up in costumes and celebrates before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. On Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras festival, it’s possible to see everything from bodies being bared in order to collect beads to other sexually charged acts not suitable for modest people or children. Anything goes during Mardi Gras and you should be prepared as you just might see it all.
Luckily for those not into the whole Mardi Gras parade and party scene, Bourbon Street also offers a plethora of creole & Cajun cuisine (try Crawfish Etoufée or Jambalaya and a King Cake for dessert) along with live music ranging from jazz to Zydeco.
When to Go to Mardi Gras Festival
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