The Ultimate Mardi Gras Guide
Carnival season is in full swing, and the city is bubbling with lively festivities and the Mardi Gras spirit. It’s the most exciting time of the year!
And because our last true Mardi Gras took place in 2020, everything is coming back in a big way.
To help you make the most of it, we’ve pulled together some of the lesser known (some might say ‘more exclusive’) perks of the season, from limited time specials to parades and more.
More and more specials are released by the day. There’s always a piece of Carnival to be found throughout the city! Here are a few to get you started:
GW Fins – This French Quarter restaurant is serving Soft Pretzel King Cakes and a refreshing and light cocktail in honor of the Krewe of Iris, called “Iris on the Avenue”!
Happy Raptor Distilling – This locally owned Central City brewery makes a seasonally infused rum in-house called 504 King Cake, only available through Mardi Gras day! A portion of the proceeds from every bottle are donated to the Grow Dat Youth Farm.
The Pelican Club – This French Quarter restaurant offers a special Mardi Gras menu during Carnival with so many options to choose from. Don’t forget dessert!
Seasonal Brews – Many local breweries boast seasonal beverages during Mardi Gras. A few to check out are Port Orleans, NOLA Brewing, Urban South, and Zony Mash Beer Project. And here’s a handy tip: Keep a to-go cup with you to enjoy beverages on-the-go!
These are just a few of the limited time specials that pop up during Mardi Gras. (You can keep an eye out on our social media for more!)
Things To Do
Attend Pygmalion Fest – Hosted by the Krewe of Pygmalion immediately after their parade, this festival kicks off the first big weekend of Carnival with live music, food, and drinks. For more information, visit https://www.kreweofpygmalion.org/.
Enjoy Brunch at Palm & Pine – This vibrant, French Quarter restaurant is hosting two special brunches this season: a Bacchus/Thoth Sunday Brunch on Sunday, February 27 and a Lundi Gras “Pining for the 90s” Brunch on Monday, February 28. For more information, visit the Palm & Pine website.
Meet Rex himself on Lundi Gras – True to tradition, the Krewe of Rex’s king will cross the Mississippi River to Riverfront Park on Monday, February 28 at 6pm to join the Lundi Gras Festival and announce the official start of Mardi Gras day. For more information, visit https://www.lundigrasfestival.com/.
Attend the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival – This free festival hosted by the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club on Monday, February 28 takes place in the French Quarter in Woldenberg Park beginning at 10am. For more information, visit https://www.lundigrasfestival.com/.
Parade Schedules and Trackers
Thank goodness for technological advances! They make the Carnival season a breeze.
All parades schedules are available at https://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/parades/ each year. You’ll find parades listed by date and time, and this schedule also has a description and history of each krewe.
We also have the luxury of parade trackers: apps that will show you the location of each parade in real time. These are absolutely worth a download. Never wonder again when a parade will reach you.
Speaking of parades, we’d be remiss not to mention the three Super Krewes: Endymion, Orpheus, and Bacchus.
If you miss all the other parades this season, don’t miss these!
These krewes boast over 1,000 members each along with the most extravagant and fantastical floats you’ll see all season. All three feature tandem floats, many of which will be animated.
This is just a small sample of the parades, limited time specials, and can’t-miss events that pop up during Mardi Gras. Need more recommendations? Reach out! We’re happy to share our expertise with you.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!