In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

What to Pack for Mardi Gras Parades

Know your Mardi Gras.

With Carnival in full swing, that means the parades are rolling as well! While some parade-goers are Mardi Gras pros, others may get overwhelmed when preparing for a parade. We're here with some tips and reminders to help if you're heading out to the routes.

Ice Chest WITH Wheels

If you’re bringing along food and drinks to enjoy while on the parade route, you’ll definitely need an ice chest to store everything. With the battle for parking and long walks to the parade route, you don’t want the task of dragging an ice chest slowing down the process. Opt for an ice chest with wheels to help out.

Water

You’ll see many ice chests when you’re headed to claim your spot. The most important thing to keep in there is water. Most parades take a few hours from start to finish, so make sure to stay hydrated for all of the fun.

Bags

Make sure you have something to collect all your throws in! If you don’t, your neck will get heavy and tired from all the beads. Bags make carrying your loot back to your car/home so much easier. Try reusable grocery bags, or even pillowcases can sometimes do the trick.

Weather Gear

The weather can be super fickle come this time of year, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and soggy. Make sure you’re ready to battle all the elements. Have your umbrella, jacket, sunscreen and sunglasses on hand.

Hand Sanitizer & Tissue Packs

When you have to go, you have to go. Most likely, you’ll have to hop in a Port-O-Potty or stand in line at a public restroom. With crowds of people, you never know when you’ll get in a bind. Have these items on hand.

Chairs & Seating

Your legs will thank you later! On top of being a resting place, a couple of chairs for you and the family will mark your places on the route and maybe even keep some of those nasty elbows away. If you’re bringing along kids, you may want to invest in a Mardi Gras ladder.

Snacks

You’re not going to want to leave your spot once you get there. Do you and your company a favor and pack some quick snacks like granola bars to stay hunger-free during the parades. Or better yet, spring for a king cake!

Comfortable Walking shoes

Long walks and lots of standing along the parade route mean you should definitely keep comfort in mind. Often many people opt for fashion instead of comfort. However, missing this important step can lead to an uncomfortable day for your feet.

Your "Go Cup"

This one certainly applies in New Orleans! Have go-cups on hand. If you want to buy daiquiris or cocktails, try areas outside of parade routes for a better deal and shorter lines.