When you see the Mardi Gras, Somebody’ll tell you what’s Carnival for!
Are you dancing yet? I bet you’re at least humming along and if you’re not – it’s time, my friend. Yep, time to get your PARADE on!!! Oh Carnival – you are glittery and magic-filled time with friends, family, and fun. Not to mention LIBATIONS, King Cake and Popeyes!
Is it a time of excess? Absolutely, but we will worry about that come Ash Wednesday. For today (well not exactly today) we will go boldly onto our favorite parade watching spots, throw our hands in the air, shake our money makers, and yell “Throw Me Something Sister”!
But wait, you have questions about where to watch… We have answers!
St. Charles Avenue- we’d recommend staying Uptown, between First and Napoleon Avenue. Mostly locals and LOTS of kids. Here is where you will find people who set up for the long haul of the parade season- tents, ladders, ice chests and barbeques. Often it’s generations of families and families that have been coming to the same spot for years. You know, it’s TRADITION! If you haven’t done this before, we are pretty sure you’ll pleased with the family vibe. Just be sure you know where the closest bathroom is.
Looking for an alternative because you want to stay out of the city? Enter Family Gras in Metairie, February 22nd-24th. This year it will be held at Clearview Shopping Center on Veterans Memorial Blvd. The crowds are huge and it’s no wonder with parades, local cuisine & art and live music!
Late Teens, Twenty-somethings, and the Wild Ones
Most likely, you and your friends, don’t want to set up shop – you gotta keep it moving. Head on over to Superior Grill area on St. Charles. Here you will find other revelers ready to PARTY! In this area, you are also close to the Mayfair Lounge. Most likely, you will also enjoy heading to the French Quarter (or F & M’s) for additional mayhem in the wee hours!
Thirty-somethings and Up
Ok, so you’ve done the parade thing for a while now – you are seasoned, like a cast iron skillet. You know you want to have a good time, but you also understand it’s a marathon not a sprint. Chances are you have your parade partners and someone has a house near or on the route. You know a private bathroom is one of the keys to a great parade experience. BUT, for those of you wanting to let your hair down a little and hang at a local watering hole – head over to the blocks from Polymnia to St. Andrew Streets at St. Charles, we recommend the Avenue Pub to keep your whistle wet.
In the Business District, you will find Grandstand/Riser Seating setup that you can buy tickets for. It offers you a seat and close proximity to the Port-O-Potty’s and food vendors. You are towards the end of the route, so you know you have to be in it for the long haul. There are also a few hotels along this stretch, that offer (for a fee of course) seating, along with bar & bathroom access. The biggest downfall with this location is you can’t just hop into the street to join in on the impromptu Wobble, but you can bust a move from the risers.
The last part of the route, visitors are often found here as well as police barricades and LARGE crowds.
Marching Band Magic
Anyone who has ever heard a New Orleans High School Marching Band knows this is Mardi Gras. And if you really want the optimum sensory experience for this, there is no better place to hear the band let it go than under the bridge on St. Charles at Calliope. It ain’t pretty – you are under a bridge but damn the acoustics and energy at this spot is ELECTRIC!
Sidewalk Side or Neutral Ground?
KNOW YOUR SIDE Y’ALL.