If you are looking for a festival that will completely blow you away in terms of every one of your senses being attacked from every possible direction, then the Mardi Gras held every year in New Orleans is something that should most definitely not be missed.
If there is one piece of advice regarding the Mardi Gras which should be listened to above everything else is to plan ahead. Some people would argue that they have left things until the last minute in the past and have managed to find accommodation and travel to suit their needs, but if you are thinking in this way you will be taking a very big chance, everything to do with the Mardi Gras gets booked up very quickly and to have to rely on a cancellation in order to enjoy the magic that this festival has to offer is a very risky way to go.
Whatever you do though, don’t turn up in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras hoping to book a room on arrival, it won’t happen and there will be nothing worse than actually being there amongst all of the action and having no where to stay.
The date of the Mardi Gras is different each year due to the fact that it is scheduled to take place 47 days before Easter and we all know that Easter can fall anywhere between March 23rd and April 25th. The first Mardi Gras was started back in 1857 and it is now more popular than ever with people travelling all over the world to get a taste of the Mardi Gras experience.
The Mardi Gras really is a family affair with children having the time of their lives, one thing to remember is to bring some large bags for the children so they will have somewhere to carry the many goodies that will be catching from the floats. Just keep an eye on the little ones to make sure they don’t wander off but you don’t have to worry about speeding cars as no vehicles, apart from the floats, are allowed on the streets for the duration of the festival.
The ‘greatest free show on earth’ is how the festival is often described and there are not many people who will disagree with that, it is obviously a massive money spinner for the local business community but who can blame them.
The two biggest parades, Bacchus and Endymion, take place over the weekend before what is known as Fat Tuesday so if you only have a limited stay, that is obviously the time to enjoy the festivities. You should be aware that the weather forecast for the Mardi Gras can vary between very hot and quite cold so it is definitely a case of listening to the long range weather forecast before you arrive and take care to dress accordingly.
Just a little forward planning will make the New Orleans experience memorable for all of the right reasons and there is no doubt that as soon as your trip is over you will already be planning the next one.