Mardi Gras is New Orleans’s major annual event, hosted annually. The spectacular, vibrant, and colorful festival comes with historic traditions and is all about having an unforgettable experience. There are wonderful parades, fantastic costume galas and parties and processions you can’t miss.
Save The Date
Mardi Gras is not celebrated on the same day every year like Christmas. In 2018 it falls on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. The carnival traditionally starts the 12th night after Christmas, also known as Epiphany. To determine the exact date, it’s important to take Easter into account.
This New Orleans festivity is set 47 days before Easter, specifically the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which the Catholic Church and some Protestant churches observe leading up to Easter as a time of atonement, marked by fasting, abstinence, prayer and almsgiving.
Let’s Go To The Parade!
About two weeks before Mardi Gras, the parade starts! Every year Carnival organizations prepare annual parades, costume galas and parties. The festivities kick off in January with the Phunny Phorty Phellows parade the Uptown District, later the Krewe of Joan of Arc and the Société Des Champs Elysée Parade goes through the French Quarter.
In February, the ‘tit Rex and the sci-fi themed Krewe of Chewbacchus march down the Marigny. There’s even a costumed puppy parade known as the Krewe of Barkus in the French Quarter. and the “super krewes” start rolling on February 10 with the Krewe of Endymion rolling through Mid-City, followed by Bacchus, Orpheus and then it’s time for Fat Tuesday that features all the major processions.
It’s all about the Fat Tuesday
The most popular time to visit New Orleans is the extended weekend before Mardi Gras (February 9- 13), since those are the best dates to enjoy parades such as like Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, Rex and all of the festive celebrations throughout the whole city.
“Fat Tuesday” refers to the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Most visitors will plan to arrive no later than Saturday, February 10, 2018 in order to enjoy an extended weekend of festivities.
Making Reservations And Getting There
Flights and hotels fill up quickly so it’s better for travelers to start planning their Mardi Gras celebrations as soon as they can. There are plenty of hotels throughout the city, but location is important. Being able to walk to where you want to be is a wonderful option, especially during the crowded Mardi Gras.
You can choose a hotel that is close to the parades and has a classic New Orleans feel, usually those are located in the historic Lower Garden District, and only steps away from the parades and streetcar line on St. Charles Ave. Which means that you’ll be only a short ride to all of the Mardi Gras celebrations in the French Quarter.
But you can also watch the parade from the comfort of your room. To do this you can request a window facing St. Charles Avenue and enjoy the parades while you drink your coffee from your room with wooden floors and chic décor.