With Mardi Gras quickly approaching party town New Orleans is on fire. Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter, is stereotypical Mardi Gras at its best. It’s sleazy, it’s sloppy, it’s 24/7 alcohol with drunks, punks and nudity. That said, for the Mardi Gras first timer who likes that frat boy vibe, it’s a fun crazy trip! It’s ok to drink openly on the streets as long as it’s in a can or cup (no bottles or glass allowed). Grab dollar beers or try a neon green ‘hand grenade’ a potent potion of rum, gin, vodka, grain alcohol, melon liquor and mint that’s guaranteed to give you a hangover. It can be pretty wild out there, so here are your Top 5 Mardi Gras Survival Tips:
1) Don’t Mess with the Cops: They’re overworked during Carnival time and have a short fuse. These guys are hard-core, so it’s best to cooperate with their requests and tone down your ‘sass’ factor.
2) Don’t Urinate in Public: Seems like a fairly obvious one, but bathrooms are hard to find. With so much binge-drinking comes frequent answers to nature’s call. Police don’t take too kindly to this liquid defacement. Don’t do it…you’ll get in BIG trouble. When you buy food, be sure to take advantage of their ‘customers only’ bathroom policy.
3) Bring your ID. Gotta be 21.
4) There’s safety in numbers. Stay on crowded, well-lit streets.
5) Be Careful: A great source for all things Mardi Gras, www.mardigrasneworleans.com suggests to “Mind your wallets. Wear shoes that can get dirty. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, and don’t carry a purse. Make sure you get a bathroom pass or wear your wristband if you’re staying in a French Quarter hotel.”
6) Do as the locals do: By day, head to the residential areas of New Orleans (Uptown, Algiers or Metairie) where parade-goers are lined up along the route to watch the floats and live brass bands.