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Mardi Gras - Tips from a NOLA Native

So your kid is going to Mardi Gras, and you have no idea what to expect.

Mardi Gras is celebrated in many places in the weeks leading up to Lent, but New Orleans is one of the most known. Different “Krewes” (basically social clubs) host balls and parades, scheduled all throughout the Mardi Gras season. These parades run from the Uptown neighborhood down to the French Quarter.

Mardi Gras is a memory your child will remember for a lifetime. It is one of the most fun experiences out there, but there are important things to remember in order to have a safe trip:

  1. COVID Guidelines: Right now, the City of New Orleans requires proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours. There is also an indoor mask mandate in place. Proof of vaccination is accepted via the card itself, photos of the front and back, or LA Wallet (LA residents only).

  2. The Buddy System: Always walk with one other person, whether this is for food, bathrooms, etc.

  3. Stranger Danger: Most people are at Mardi Gras to have a good time and will help you should you need, but as a general rule, don’t talk to strangers.

  4. Police Presence: Police presence is strong all along the parade route. If your child is Uptown, they are always on horses on the corner of Amelia St. and St. Charles Ave.

  5. Prepare for their phone not to work: Similar to music festivals, once the route gets crowded, texts will take longer to send, and calls may not go through.

  6. Pack Portable Chargers: Having a charged phone is key if you get lost.

  7. WDSU Parade Tracker App: This app shows all the parade schedules, where the start of the parade is, and the weather on the route.

  8. Send Your Kid with Cash: Bathrooms are not free and are mostly port-a-potties. Bring cash for nightly bathroom passes, food, and drinks. Do not bring a ton every night though in case you lose sight of it.

  9. Uber and Lyft: Ubers can get VERY expensive during Mardi Gras, specifically when it’s time to go home at the end of the night. Pre-scheduling Ubers and Lyfts can help cut down costs. If you are Uptown, here are some of my recommendations for pickup spots:

    1. Creole Creamery (Prytania St.)

    2. La Boulangerie (Magazine St.)

    3. Academy of the Sacred Heart (4521 St Charles Ave)

    4. Tulane/Loyola

  10. Places Along the Route to ask for Help if They Need It:

    1. Academy of the Sacred Heart Dad’s Club trailer

    2. New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood

    3. Superior Grill

    4. Superior Seafood

Mardi Gras is a safe and amazing event for your child to go to during college. The parade route is generally one of the safest places to be in New Orleans due to the amount of police presence at all times. Your child will have the best time on Mardi Gras weekend!

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