Get Ready for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras officially begins on January 6th, though celebrations continue through February (with Fat Tuesday!). From marching bands to flambeaux carriers and those famous floats, New Orleans hosts a party and a history lesson like no other. It’s truly “the greatest show on Earth,” and you’ll be doused in doubloons, beads and prizes if you’re lucking enough to be in the city during Carnival season.

Most travelers think of Fat Tuesday as “Mardi Gras,” and February (for 2018) is certainly the month when the most parades will glide through the French Quarter. However, in the beginning of every single month, there are krewes and parties so it’s always the perfect season to let loose. For many, enjoying the early days of Mardi Gras in January is a welcome alternative to the sheer craziness of Fat Tuesday time.

Party Central

Make sure to plan a trip to nearby Mardi Gras City, just a short bus ride or drive from the French Quarter. Here, you’ll see the most famous floats of Mardi Gras past, snag a slice of King Cake, and get to see some works in progress for the 2018 season. Nowhere else can you get so up close and personal with the inner workings of Carnival, and you’ll even get a sneak peek of what to expect for this year.

You’re encouraged to dress up—everyone does! There are countless Mardi Gras balls and parties happening around town. Load up on beads for the parades, because no first-timer thinks they’ll go crazy for these plastic trinkets, but it’s impossible to resist the pull of Mardi Gras and you’ll want to be prepared.