In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Tips to survive your first Mardi Gras parade

There are Mardi Gras parades from Biloxi to Baton Rouge to Mamou to Lake Charles to Galveston and the Ark-La-Tex. We're lucky to have several weeks where parades march through our streets. Millions enjoy the spectacle every year. But what if you've never been??? No worries my friend. The Ark-La-Tex Weekend team is here with some tips to survive your first Mardi Gras and make your experience as fun as possible.

Dominique O'Neill

Tips from Dominique O'Neill

  1. Be sure to eat before you arrive for your Mardi Gras experience. You might have to wait a few hours for the parade to start and wait several minutes after before eating a big meal.
  2. Plan you exit from the event because traffic can get heavy. The Ark-La-Tex Weekend Mardi Gras channel shows many of the routes to look at.
  3. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  4. Be sure to hydrate.

Matthew Banks

Tips from Matthew Banks

  1. Check the weather and dress accordingly. Some parades last well after the sun goes down and the temperatures drop.
  2. Keep an eye on kids and floats. It can be dangerous with moving vehicles. Keep kids close by.
  3. It can be a hassle to leave after a parade with everyone else leaving. Be patient.

Jeff Dillard

Tips from Jeff Dillard

  1. Bring a roll of toilet paper or wipes in case the port-a-potty is out.
  2. No matter what you’ve heard about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, this is SHREVEPORT. Never attempt to “flash” bead throwers. This may award you higher quality or quantity of beads, but you won’t be allowed to wear them in the mugshot.
  3. In the larger parades, there are designated family areas on the route that are alcohol free where you may be more comfortable if you have younger children.

Robert Streeter

Tips from Robert Streeter

  1. Bring a couple of reusable bags or grocery bags with you. You might receive a LOT of beads. Although it may be fun to put every single bead you catch around your head, you may end up with 30-40 pounds of beads.  Between floats you can stash your haul in a bag.
  2. Snacks on hand are a great thing to have.
  3. Throw your trash away!!! Most parades will have trash receptacles along the route. Use them!!
  4. Be courteous to your fellow parade-goers. If a stuffed animal is heading to a cute kid, let them catch it.