It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not Christmas; it’s officially Mardi Gras season. The biggest parades are set to roll next week, and we want to make sure you guys are ready to roll, as well.
Trying to navigate your way through all the krewes, King Cake, beads, and glitter as New Orleans gets ready for the biggest party of the year can be daunting -- but we’ve got your back, ’Pack! Here are our top tips!
OK, so don’t actually make it rain. Who has the money for that? But do carry cash for emergencies.
Not everywhere will take cards, and no one wants to spend their Mardi Gras tracking down an ATM -- or going without! Keep about $20-$40 in your bag ready in case you and your friends need to grab a cab or a snack or need a restroom!
But remember, be responsible!
Mardi Gras is no fun by yourself, so make sure you’re the definition of #squadgoals, and look out for your friends. It’s hard to find your friends in a crowd, so make sure you travel together, party together, and never let a friend walk home alone.
Port-o-potties are not pretty. We know. They may even make your face look like this…
But they are a better alternative to getting caught peeing in the streets and spending your Mardi Gras in central lock-up. Remember that cash we told you to keep for emergencies? Well, you can use it to buy candy at the gas station and use the bathroom there.
There are so many options! But peeing in the streets isn’t one of them.
Jonah Hill is right: Safety isn’t lame!
The city basically shuts down during Carnival, making getting from A to B difficult. Streetcars run on restricted routes, Ubers often have surge charges, and taxis can be hard to find. With a group of friends by your side, long walks are a blast!
Stay safe, and travel in a pack -- which should come naturally because you’re part of the Wolf Pack!
The only person who can dull your sparkle is your Uber driver.
If you do decide to go down the Uber route, watch out for added charges! Mardi Gras may be the time for crazy costumes and glitter galore, but an Uber is not.
Avoid the $100 cleaning fee charges, and keep your glitter to yourself!
It’s game time. What’s the plan?
Make a game plan, and stick to it. That way, if you or someone in your crew gets lost in the crowds, there will be a set meeting place to go to. Pro tip: Share your location with your pack before heading out to the parade route in case the plan falls through!
Download the WDSU parade tracker app. It will keep you up to date with parade times, routes, and other tips.
Don’t pick up fallen beads. Chin up! You’ll catch the next one!
The float is in front of you. You make eye contact with the thrower. The thrower tosses a bead with the parade’s insignia. That bead is meant for you. But the forces of the universe work against you and it ends up a few feet in front of you, on the ground. In a moment of excitement and bad decision-making, you reach down for the bead. The next moment is a moment of clarity, and you recoil your hand before the father of three wearing combat boots jumps and lands right on the bead where your hand was meant to grab it. Still in shock, you look up and an identical bead is thrown and lands right in your hands.
Everyone is having fun at parades and may not be as mindful as usual -- avoid bending down and watch out for others!
Be a lover, not a hater! Keep to your catching space.
Mardi Gras is one of those rare occasions where everyone gets in on the fun. Chances are you and your friends will be around families with young kids who want throws just as bad as you do.
Consider giving (some) of your special catches to the kids nearby — they’ll never forget it!
Loyola has a style of its own, and during Mardi Gras season, the fanny pack is the hottest accessory. The fanny pack’s functionality far outweighs its seemingly unstylish apparence -- fill it up with cash, phone, keys, portable phone charger, and your IDs!
Heck, don’t stop there! Fill it up with snacks, too!
Speaking of style, prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. We all know that NOLA weather can be unpredictable. Wear layers, dress comfortably, and leave your new white shoes at home. You have bead catching to focus on!
Don’t let the weather keep you off the parade route!