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Mardi Gras Dos & Don’ts For First Timers

Getty Images/Chris Graythen

Mardi Gras is fast approaching and soon guest bedrooms and couches will be filled with out-of-town friends and family looking to enjoy the festival season. In order to ensure these first timers have just as good a time as long time Mardi Gras veterans, here are a few dos and don’ts to pass along.

Getty Images/Brad Barket
Getty Images/Brad Barket





Mardi Gras is an endurance sport. There is a lot of walking, a lot of dancing, and a lot of standing on your feet. With that in mind…

Don’t: Use Mardi Gras as a time to show off your high fashion clothing or high heel shoes.

Do: Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and don’t mind getting a little dirty. Count on spills, mud, and rain. Make sure you have a few pockets and don’t bring any accessories you can’t afford to lose. Make sure you bring shoes that you won’t mind walking a few miles in, as walking is the preferred Mardi Gras method of transportation.


Flickr user: Steve Snodgrass
Flickr user: Steve Snodgrass





During Mardi Gras, many of Lafayette’s main streets are closed down entirely. Getting around the city is tough and parking is even harder.

Don’t: Expect to get a parking spot relatively close to anywhere on the parade route unless you get there very early.

Do: Expect to park and walk. Premium spots are available at a price of $5 – $10 if you don’t mind paying. However, even with these premium spots you should not expect easy access to your car during the parades.


Getty Images/Julie Denesha
Getty Images/Julie Denesha


Food & Drinks



Believe me when I say there will be no shortage of reasonably priced full bars and mini restaurants along the parade route offering burgers, po-boys, and other Cajun delicacies. Food is a big part of the Cajun culture so you’ll be sure to find something close by to meet every taste.

Don’t: Pack sandwiches and lug around heavy ice chests.

Do: Bring cash as many of the make shift bars and street restaurants will not accept credit cards.


Getty Images/Pat Semansky
Getty Images/Pat Semansky





During Mardi Gras the parades are the main attraction, but if you really want to catch beads it’s going to take a little work.

Don’t: Show up at the last minute and expect a good spot to stand during the parade. Spots along the barricades begin to fill up hours before the parades start.

Do: Get there early to get a good spot and be ready to scream and shout “throw me something mister!” at the top of your lungs.


Getty Images/Chris Graythen
Getty Images/Chris Graythen





Mardi Gras is a wild, untamed, free flowing, spontaneous, festival party. You never know what you will see and you never know whats going to happen next.

Don’t: Plan on keeping a rigid schedule.

Do: Allow yourself to explore and indulge in all the excitement that Mardi Gras has to offer. There is something in Mardi Gras for everyone and your experience is what you make of it. Allow yourself to let go and live it.


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