Parades are a lot of fun! There are a few things; however, you should keep in mind at the parade route to make sure everybody has a great time.
You cannot rope off areas of the neutral ground, public sidewalks, or other public property. It is prohibited by law. This means you cannot “save” a spot along the parade route with chairs, trash cans, sofas, rope, yellow tape or anything else. If you want a good spot on the route, get there early.
If you plan to build some sort of viewing stand, like bleachers, you must get a city permit. Tents that are 10’X10′ or smaller do not need one. However, only shade tents are allowed. You cannot bring fully enclosed tents or tents with side panels. Place tents at least six feet back from the street curb, and remember, they are not allowed on the neutral grounds. Clean-up after every parade and pack up your tent. If you leave it overnight it will be disposed of.
Ladders are part of the Carnival traditions in New Orleans. They must be built strong enough to hold your kids and must be set up at least six feet back from the street curb. Just like tents, do not leave ladders on the neutral ground or along curbs and sidewalks overnight as they will be disposed of.
If you bring a grill, make sure it sits at least six feet back from the street curb. Do not put hot coals in trash cans and make sure to pack up your grill when you leave. If it’s left in the street it will be disposed of.
As you plan your Parade outing, don’t forget to bring some snacks, water and a bag for your Mardi Gras Loot…as your neck can only hold so many strings of pearls and blinking beads.
What Not To Bring
Leave your drone at home. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that drones never be flown over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people. Learn more about drone safety and regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration. Firearms are illegal to carry on a parade route. Please leave firearms and other weapons at home.
You may want to leave the big purse or wallet at home and just bring the essentials. You will be juggling beads, stuffed animals, food and maybe even a drink or two in your arms. So, leave as much extra stuff at home.
For a full list of regulations click here: https://ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/what-to-bring/
Have fun and be courteous to others. Try not to block anybody’s view and don’t get mad if the person in front of you catches a throw you wanted. Don’t get in the way of someone else’s catch. If the rider wants to throw you something from the float, they’ll make eye contact with you and throw in your direction. Remember, there are plenty of other throws to come that you will catch. Also, never reach over a kid to catch a throw — yes, we have seen it happen. Consider catching the item and giving it to the kids around you.
Mardi Gras is a family-friendly event, so keep your clothes on. Do not flash for beads….there is absolutely no need for that, especially outside of the French Quarter.
Plan ahead and locate the closest public bathrooms near you, before starting your party. There is a lot of truth to Benny Grunch’s Mardi Gras classic song, “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day.”
The most important rule of Mardi Gras…..Have fun! Costumes are encouraged so get out there and enjoy there is not place like New Orleans on Mardi Gras.