It’s probably been on your bucket list to get to New Orleans for one
of the greatest celebrations each year. Mardi Gras captures the
attention of many throughout the world, and NOLA is known for
celebrating the start to the Lenten season with its days of back-to-back
parades, incredible song and dance vis a vis marching bands, the
endless supply of Mardi Gras beads, and the infamous partying on
While you’re planning your stay, and finding your
parking options, we’ve put these five tips together that will help you
survive your first (second, or third) Mardi Gras.
1. Hydrate like a boss. Your body will endure jumping,
walking, and possibly stumbling. There will be the coveted throwing of
beads, stuffed dragons, block parties, long lines, walks all over the
city, and parades galore. While you’re enjoying all the food and
libations the Big Easy has to offer, make sure you’re hydrating with
Keep the party going all the way to Fat Tuesday by drinking plenty
of water throughout the day. In fact, you might want to keep a bottle on you so you can sip on some water between parades or bar hops.
2. Those shoes are cute, but no. There are costume
contests all over the city, and next to Halloween it’s a time during the
year where you can become anything imaginable. You’re dressed to the
nines in full Mardi Gras regalia, mask and all. And we know the shoes
make or break an outfit, but rest assured you’ll be regretting those
heels on the way home.
Prevent blisters and make sure you wear
comfortable shoes. And while you’re at it bring sunscreen, layers, and
an inexpensive camera that you won’t mind destroying if it happens.
3. Know the rules. Before you
head out, make sure you know the rules so you can avoid tickets and
fines. Here are just a few that
might help you when navigating and enjoying the parade routes:
- There can be no ladders or other personal effects, like grills and coolers, closer than 6 feet to the curb.
- Parking on Napoleon and St. Charles will be prohibited on BOTH sides of the neutral ground, not just the parade side.
is a ban on roping off territory via chairs, tarps, or anything else if
you are in the public right of way, including neutral ground and
- Don’t double-park, park in driveways, on neutral
grounds (medians), in front or near water hydrants, within 15 feet of
curb corners, too car from the curb, or risk parking on the parade route
within three hours of a parade. According to Mardi Gras New Orleans, “your car will get towed away and/or you’ll receive a fine of biblical proportions.
4. Tell someone. As with all events of this magnitude,
it’s always important to remember your safety. Mardi Gras is arguably
one of the best times during the Carnival season, and with thousands of
people flocking into New Orleans staying safe should be a No. 1
priority, and it is for the local, state, and federal officials.
You’ve heard it before, but it’s true: there’s “safety in numbers”. Try
to stay in at least a pair when heading out and about. Or tell someone
if you’re heading out by yourself, and where you going—that way they can
check on you or go to your location if they haven’t heard from you
after an hour.
6. There are apps that help you remember. Take a
picture of your parking space or use an app so you can locate your car
after a weekend-long celebration New Orleans-style. Apps like iCarPark,
Car Finder AR, or Where Did I Park, help you remember where you parked,
and even log your location within the app. Car Finder AR, at $2.59,
might be worth the purchase for the truly lost. The app loads augmented
reality and 3D maps, and will also allow you to share your location with
friends so they can help keep tabs on you.
And then there’s the obvious
choice of referencing your Parking Panda reservation
in your email. Simply tap on the addy and use Waze to help you find the
quickest walking path (hopefully not down Bourbon Street) back to the
Parking Panda has the best parking options near the downtown Mardi Gras parades. Check out the schedule and book your guaranteed space today!
Parking Panda is free and available on the go with our iOS, Android, and Windows apps.