Costumes and floats paint the streets of New Orleans the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a religious festival celebrated in numerous places around the world, but no other place celebrates it as lively and as colorful as New Orleans does. Louisiana takes pride in this city’s jovial and unique celebration of the Mardi Gras!
Parades. This is one of the event’s main attractions. From glittering floats to spirited marching bands, the parades will astound the entire family. Floats sponsored by krewes (Mardi Gras clubs) tend to be more extravagant. Common among riders of these floats is the tradition of tossing throws to the crowd. These throws can vary from coins to stuffed toys!
French Quarter. Being the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, the French Quarter is the city’s center of art and cultural activity. This is where the parades used to pass by, but as the event became more and more popular, the narrow streets of this old neighborhood could no longer hold thousands of participants. Nonetheless, this is still a very active spot in the city during Mardi Gras. You are free to walk around with alcohol and you’ll get to see a lot of musicians. Food and drinks are overflowing so get ready to indulge!
Balls. This is another unique practice. Complete with a king and queen, you can only attend this ball with an invitation. If you’ve ever imagined being in a dreamy ball, cross your fingers that you’ll get an invite. And if you’re lucky to get one, make sure to have the appropriate costume as everyone else!
Exhibitions. Though a religious observance, Mardi Gras is more like an artistic celebration. The colorful floats, wonderful costumes, and jovial music all add up to a unique festive experience. When you’re visiting New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, make sure to see Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana – an exhibition of this beautiful event’s history. See costumes, invitations and floats used decades and even more than a century ago! Mardi Gras World, on the other hand, features the intricate art of creating floats.
The best time to visit any foreign place is during a festival. This is the time when locals are most welcoming of tourists. So schedule your visit to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras! This festival will surely please your senses; from your eyes to your palate.
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