Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the day before Lent, on which you live like it’s your last and indulge in the temptations of life.
Attending New Orleans’s Mardi Gras had been a dream of mine since college when I met one of my dear friend Chelsea who is from Nawlins. Seeing pictures in magazines and features on TV made me say, “I want to go to THAT! That seems fun!” But the years have passed, college is a distant memory, and my days of stumbling through streets are long behind me. While my wild party days are over – I still had a bucket list to check off and it just so happens that Chelsea was heading back home and so I decided to just buy a ticket and fulfill this long awaited “dream” of mine!
Arriving in New Orleans the morning of Mardi Gras, my friend Rebekah and I met up with Chelsea to catch the famous Krewe of Zulu parade. Thanks to a good friend Brandon, we were able to watch the parade on the rooftop of The Historic Carver Theater. It’s one of the largest parades — famous for giving out hand-painted coconuts — wends its way through the city — best known for their elaborate costumes — leaves the Bywater for the French Quarter, with revelers joining along the way. As the day continues, the parties grow in size in the French Quarter, and the streets swell with vendors and partygoers
As evening approaches, the city fills with revelers and parties. The parades bring out the crowds, and music and drinks keep them. In New Orleans, there’s no such thing as closing time – the city practically bursts into organized chaos!
Mardi Gras was as fun and outrageous as I had hoped. Everyone was in a happy, friendly, and welcoming mood. I loved the camaraderie. Though that was probably my one and only visit (there are countless other celebrations to see), Mardi Gras — with all the parades and zany costumes — is one fun, festive, and slightly weird event worth making the effort to see.