Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler “Let the Good Times Roll” for Mardi Gras New Orleans, Louisiana. Welcome to New Orleans for lots of fun & adventures. Hurry book your flight in time for Mardi Gras which is Tuesday February 28 this year. Carnival Season has already started and activities are happening now. Let us see the dates when all this takes place.
Dates for Mardi Gras New Orleans
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Carnival Season after the Epiphany which is also called Three Kings Day a Christian Feast begins on Jan 6, 2011 this year. Carnival ends Feb 28 at midnight before Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017. All during the Carnival Season more and more people flock to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
New Orleans is one of my favorite place to celebrate Mardi Gras. I try to get tickets to stand on a balcony along Bourbon Street, These Balcony Parties supple drinks, food and throws. People are yelling up to you to “Throw me something Mister“ and you yell at them to “Show me something“, so you can throw the beads to them. It does not get any better than this. Now for a little history of how Mardi Gras arrived to New Orleans.
History of Mardi Gras New Orleans
The brief history of Mardi Gras New Orleans has been traced back to Medieval Europe during the 17th and 18 Century. It went from Rome on towards Venice to the French House of Bourbons. French Explorer Jean Baptiste arrived south of New Orleans and brought this tradition with him. It first started 1703 in Mobile, AL then in 1718 brought to New Orleans by Bienville, but not with all the parades they have now. In 1740 is when the elegant society balls started. Then in 1781 the first of hundreds of organizational clubs called Krewe’s were established.
By 1830’s the street processions with gas lite torches, masked people with carriages and horseback riders started. The first recorded Mardi Gras throws from the street processions were in 1870. Then in 1886 is where the colorful floats emerged with beautiful costumes.
Parades for Mardi Gras New Orleans
Now large beautiful colorful floats with gorgeous outfits can be seen from the famous parades. Each Krewe has their own court (king and queen) theme and parades. See the list of parade dates and times to take in your favorite parade.
During Carnival Season, it is fun to venture into the French Quarter and catch some of the parades. Not all the parades are in the French Quarter with some in the outlying cities. Here is your list for the Parade Schedule for Carnival 2017 Mardi Gras (click the green name) .
When you view a parade be expected to catch colorful throws that include beads and trinkets. Some people will wear crazy outfits or say things to catch the most beads. Be warned sometimes the beads will be thrown very hard and fast plus people will be drinking at some of these parades. (Here is your warning). Also please note each parade will start and end at different locations.
Bourbon Street plus the Best Time to Visit
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is fun and the best place to experience it is in the French Quarter with some streets busier than others. Bourbon St. seems have the most Bars and Crazy Adventures. The other streets are not as crazy and it is great to walk around during the day to take in the shops, restaurants and galleries. By evening more people arrive in town and the fun begins.
I find the best time to be downtown in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras is the weekend before the actual day on a Friday which is Feb 24th this year. During the day it is not as hectic walking down Bourbon Street and seeing the crazy outfits people are wearing. By the evening more people arrive and you will see a shift in activities and scantily clad people. I find the daytime Friday and Saturday is a little bit more subdued than the evenings.
Crazy Time for Mardi Gras New Orleans
Sunday arrives with day and nights busy, then Monday, Lundi Gras is very crazy in the French Quarter. Mardi Gras arrives on Tuesday which is even more crazy but ends on midnight. Ash Wednesday begins and is a holy day of obligation so all festivities stop at midnight on Tuesday. See my tips on Surviving Mardi Gras below.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a great fun experience. I have gone to the huge Balls in the Super Dome where a famous Parade ends and was able to go home with thousands of beads. Those Balls are fun to dress up in evening gowns and dance to famous musicians.
New Orleans is fun to visit other times during the year with lots of festivals or just to walk the streets. Look for my New Orleans Blog on Activities, Hotels and Restaurants. Then check out my “Mind-Blowing Words to Improve your Mardi Gras Fun”. For other travel locations visit me at 1AdventureTraveler.
Tips on how to Survive Mardi Gras New Orleans
- Note, the closer you get to Mardi Gras the more crowd it is on Bourbon Street. The street fills with hundreds of people all walking one way.
- You will be merged in with the crowd and have to walk with them. It is very hard to move on your own to the side or out of the crowd.
- If you are with a group or another person hold hands, clothing or lock arms, but watch your belongings.
- During this time while walking hands seem to fly all over and people will try and pick pocket your items. Yes, you might get your bum pinched or grabbed too.
- I like to hide my money inside my clothes and if I take a very small purse it is across the body with the zipper held closed and is tight against my body. Guys put your wallet in the front or find a hiding place.
- Also watch when you are using your phone. It can be snatched out of your hands which happened to my daughter. It was never recovered.
- All the poles are greased so you will not be able to climb up to the second stories and meet the people throwing the beads. 🙂 Well I must say one Mardi Gras guy made it up the pole after I teased and threw beads and he scared me to death. I didn’t know what to say or do. So be careful what you say.
- No drinking and driving. Call Uber. I have used them many times in New Orleans and they are quick and cheap.
- Now go out and have fun!
Remember life is short go out and have an adventure!
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