Mardi Gras weekend is just around the corner, and we can't wait to celebrate all weekend long! To help first-timers and seasoned Mardi Gras revelers alike make the most out of their Mardi Gras weekend, we've rounded up our tips and tricks to navigating parade day in Baton Rouge.
Dress the part.
Dressing up is always part of the fun of Mardi Gras, and you’re sure to see everything from costumes to traditional Mardi Gras colors. Don your purple, gold and green – or pink, if you’re headed to the Spanish Town parade – or go all out and dress in costume. Parties Start Here is a one-stop shop to get everything you need to make your Mardi Gras outfit come to life, from head to toe. And while we encourage making your outfit as extravagant and fun as you want it to be, you're going to want to make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to stand on your feet and catch all the good throws.
Get there early.
To get a good spot to watch the parade, you're going to want to get there early! Parade-goers tend to stake out their spots early, so make sure to respect their things and don't move them. Here’s a pro-tip for the early birds – bring a chair to have a place to sit while you wait for the parade to roll!
Parade day is a marathon – not a sprint. Get fuel for your parade day by perusing our list of restaurants in Baton Rouge, or if you plan to get to your spot early, find all your snacking and refreshment needs at local grocers, such as Calandro's Supermarket or Matherne's Market. Parade day is also a great excuse to indulge in beignet fingers from Coffee Call or a slice of king cake, not that we ever need an excuse to enjoy these Baton Rouge delicacies!
Catch some throws!
Some people come for the floats, some come for bands, but everybody comes for the throws! From beads to stuffed animals, throws come in a range of shapes and sizes and are essentially free souvenirs to help you reminisce on Mardi Gras weekend. Make the most of your parade day by catching throws but be sure to watch where they’re being thrown – many parade-goers alike have taken a string of beads or two to the head.
Bring a bag.
You’re going to want somewhere to stash your throws until you get home so make sure to bring a large bag! If you can’t find one on hand, check out Party Time – they have fun Mardi Gras-themed bags that are large enough to store your throws, as well as to carry any snacks, drinks and other necessities you may want to have with you throughout the day.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Mardi Gras may be the best time of the year, but it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings and make safety a priority. If you’re traveling with a group of friends, designate an easily identifiable meeting spot in case you get separated, and be sure to respect the floats and drivers by not crossing the street while the parade is rolling. We also encourage you to keep safety resources and emergency numbers easily accessible throughout the weekend.
Keep the party going!
The end of a parade doesn't mean the end of the fun! Keep the party going at the bars on Third Street, which are walking distance from the downtown parade routes or join in on the Mardi Gras revelry at one of the many after-parties throughout the city. If you need some rest after all the parade fun, no worries! Take Sunday off in anticipation for Lundi Gras, where you can join in on the parade and party at Red Stick Social, complete with complimentary red beans and rice and a sensory-friendly section on the route, making it a good time for all to enjoy!