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Mardi Gras Time in New Orleans

World's Greatest Party - Beautiful City - Lots of Fun

The best party in the world!
I have driven to New Orleans for Mardi Gras about half a dozen times. The first time, a few years ago, I went with two friends Alan and Doug. We drove down from Detroit in my little Dodge Colt. We had
Image of Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana USAno idea what to expect. We just knew it was going to be fun. We were only in town a few minutes when people starting throwing things at us. Beads and lots of them. Free party beads to be caught from costumed revelers atop parade floats.

We all slept in that little Colt (Hotel Colt) which

We had no idea what to expect. We just knew it was going to be fun.

we called The Cult. At a street parking spot a few blocks from the action. One day we did get a room out of town to clean up and get a good nights rest. But other than that we went cheap. There are a number of ways to do Mardi Gras. If in a group I guess I'd recommend getting a room together because you can spilt the cost. Be prepared to be 20 or 30 miles away though and pay top dollar. If your the planning type, you could reserve months and years ahead for the ever popular French Quarter balcony stay. But if your poor on money and rich on enthusiasm. There are other ways to sleep.


I don't know if I'm crazy
or just like a challenge but I will even go to a hugely popular event like Mardi Gras without any reservation for a bed. So it's the Hotel Civic for me. And it could be the Hotel (fill in your cars name here), for you too. One year I when with my friend Kevin and we had a mini van to use. The Hotel Grand Voyager. We were swimming in space. Hygiene concerns were resolved by driving to a near by campground for a shower. This may sound a little gross but when your on your own you really don't have to be that fussy about yourself. You can get by with a wash cloth and soap. Have your own water
and your can wash your face and brush you teeth out of the car. I like to park in front of city hall and go inside for restroom visits. I have been pretty lucky with this parking spot over the years. It's free. Instead of paying hundreds I pay zero. It's fun too, one year I

Without hesitation I proudly said I was staying at the Civic.

was flirting with this girl and she did the old size up the guy by where he is staying routine and without hesitation I proudly said I was staying at the Civic. She said she never heard of it and I said it's near city hall - ha ha ha. Another option for a bed is the Marquette House youth hostel. ($20) Even at a peak time like Mardi Gras I've been able to get a bed without reservations. And there is free street parking out front. You will see license plates from all over the country. I neat feature of a Youth hostel is the variety of people you'll meet.

Mardi Gras in first and foremost a party
 A big, fun street party with crowd participation. The elaborately decorated floats and costumed riders are always a joy to be part of. You can stand anywhere along miles of parade route to catch the goodies. Beads of every color, size and shape. Shiny colorful doubloons with the parade name and year on it. All sorts of plastic novelties like frezzbies, cups etc, and my favorite, mini stuffed animals. If you have kids, they will be magnets for these fun items. Everybody likes free stuff and Mardi Gras deliveries like no other event that I know of. The parades go on for hours and downtown,

I felt something wrong. When I looked down I saw a man's fingers in my front pocket.

near the French quarter is especially nice.

A note on safety.
The crowds can be big and you can become overwhelmed. It is a perfect set up for pickpockets. One year it happened to me, well almost. I was
enjoying the parade when I was being pushed from all sides by the crowd. natural right? Not this time. I felt something wrong. I looked down to see a man's fingers in my front pocket. This guy had some guts. He was obviously


 working in a group and was looking for some easy money. I think he got a little too cocky though going for the front pocket. He did not score and was all apologetic. Boy was that close. Two finger on my wallet starting to pull it out. Great travel tip here, Never carry your wallet in your back pocket. Be aware that some areas near the French quarter are questionable and there are some individuals that will take advantage of tourists. I'm not making any judgments or pointing fingers but lets just say some people would rather victimize unsuspecting tourists that fill out a job application.

You can see some celebrities as Mardi Gras parade grand marshals or honoraries. I have see (from only a few feet away) Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Gutenberg, Glen Close, Harry Connick Jr. and Nicholas Cage. Who will be there for you to see? Now on to the adult playground known as the French quarter

You will be busy none stop
During the day your have several great restaurants to eat at and sample the foods unique to bayou country. Cajun, Creole, crawfish etc. many nice shops to brose and of course endless souvenir
shops. You will be busy none stop.

and then night falls and the party people come out. All that you've heard is true and more. Lots of drinking. partying like no where else on earth. Walk down Bourbon street to see the sights, drink the drinks and watch people do things they only do here. I like the uninhabited people here. And I'll just say it boobs. Girls of all walks of life flashing their stuff for the thrill, attention and beads. Guys can show what they got too but that's a no no and I've

The police do an amazing job during Mardi Gras time

seen them get arrested.

The law - Have fun
This is a good time to praise New Orleans law
enforcement - city, state, county - their all there. The police do an amazing job during Mardi Gras time. They are very patience with and tolerant of what goes on. Unless there's violence or flashers of below the belt. There presence is not a detoured to the fun. Think of all the drunk in public, lewd conduct charges that would happen anywhere else. I can't imagine the long hours and idiots they have to deal with and they seem to take it all in stride.

I can entertain myself for hours people watching. Not to mention the photo opportunities. I have partied till dawn literally till 6 am and daylight. The French quarter is amazing. Around ever corner a new adventure. The architecture  is beautiful and unique to this part of the country. I'm not going to go into all the history and correct names for things here. I am a simple traveler that gets off of the vibe a new place And I can tell you from experience that the vibe here is fun, exciting and magical.

Happy Mardi Gras!

"Life's just a cocktail party on the street" The Rolling Stones

More Mardi Gras Info at