50 Things Every First Time Mardi Gras Goer Should Know (Part 5 of 5)

We’ve made it.

In over 24 hours St. Charles will be filled with thousands of parade goers as Oshun and Cleopatra rolls towards the Central Business District.

Over the past month you’ve read tips on how to enjoy your first Mardi Gras. And while there’s probably a lot of things that I left out, it’s been a joy to do this.

10. Tip

I try my best to leave tips when I go out to eat.

So if you’re going to eat and drink at one of our fine establishments, or even order delivery, tip.

9. St. Charles is really a huge block party.

Being that I live four blocks away from the route, it warms my heart to see all the people with their ladders, chairs, and other things along the neutral ground on St. Charles.

That being said, if you want the true Mardi Gras experience, go to Saint Charles Avenue.

8. If you see a kid with no beads, give them some of yours.

Parades for the most part are about the kids. More often than not you see kids leave empty handed.

If you see a kid with no beads, give them some of yours.

7. Be prepared to pay for bathrooms.

The biggest shock I had when I came for Mardi Gras in 2015 was paying for bathrooms. At Zion Lutheran Church on St. Charles, the bathrooms are $2.50

6. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking.

The streetcars along Canal & St. Charles stop two hours before parades, meaning that the next streetcar will run again around 10 pm or so.

Meaning that if you’re going to come for Mardi Gras, you’re going to walk at least 2-4 miles (I walked 15 miles total when I came in 2015).

So get used to it.

5. Avoid Bourbon at all costs.

I never tell tourists to go to Bourbon when they come here for Mardi Gras. Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras is a full blown amateur hour.

4. If you’re a local and this is your first Mardi Gras as a resident, be nice to tourists.

The biggest mistake I made when I worked in the Quarter was taking my stress out on tourists.

Guys these are our guests for the next two weeks. Be nice.

3. Biking is the best and quickest way to experience Mardi Gras from all angles.

The best way to get around during Mardi Gras is on a bike. There’s numerous bike rental places you can rent bikes from for as low as $20 an hour.

2. Don’t flash on St. Charles.

St. Charles Avenue is more family oriented as opposed to the Quarter. As I learned in 2015, things like flashing for beads on St. Charles is frowned upon.

If you’re going to flash, flash on Bourbon.


I couldn’t stop talking about my Carnival adventure for weeks when I came here in 2015. In fact, I tried to come back for the second weekend of parades, only to whiff on getting a room at the Marquette House.

Let me say this, when you come for Mardi Gras, have fun. Take in the sights, enjoy the food, and take lots of pictures.

You’ll be better for it.


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