It doesn’t get much better than Carnival in New Orleans. House parties, setting up your spot on St. Charles with family and friends, and catching “throws” with a drink in-hand are the things we look forward to all year. Whether you’re riding floats or watching from the sidelines, Mardi Gras in NOLA is the best time of the year.
First, a little background…
If you’re not from New Orleans or you’ve never been to this great city during this time of year, the whole concept of Mardi Gras can be pretty foreign. The terms “Mardi Gras” and “Carnival” are sometimes used interchangeably, but Carnival refers to the social season that begins on Twelfth Night and culminates on Mardi Gras Day, or Fat Tuesday before giving up all the debaucherous behavior on Ash Wednesday. Carnival celebrations in New Orleans date back to the 1730s and adopted “krewes” in the late 1800s which serve as social clubs that put on the parades. The party these days is filled with day and night parades throughout the city, Balls and Friday luncheons.
As the end of Carnival nears, we’re looking forward to our favorite week of the celebration. During this week, the St. Charles streetcar shuts down this week to allow residents time to stake out their spot along the route for the biggest parades. If you’re heading out for the fun get your cooler out and your chairs and ladders set up. Here’s a little more info on this final week’s timeline:
Wednesday & Thursday: Krewes start rolling with the ladies of Nyx and Muses.
Friday: Grab lunch in the Quarter and a stroll up St. Charles with your favorite drink in hand to watch Hermes, you’ll know when the parade gets close when you start to hear the drum cadence of St. Aug’s marching band.
Saturday: Overindulge a bit but still ready for the weekend? Tucks on Saturday is the perfect way to spend the day and if you’re hurting from the night before, you’ll appreciate why their theme is always toilet humor.
Sunday: Hail Thoth! on Sunday and if you’re lucky enough to know about it or track it down, Cotton Fest makes for an epic day. If you’re still standing by Lundi Gras (Monday), see you at Orpheus and thank Harry Connick Jr. for his contribution to Carnival. The King of Rex and Zulu roll Tuesday and then all bets are off as you head to the Quarter for the rest of the day.
Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint, here are some of our favorites to have on-hand:
Domestic Light Beer:
If it’s in a can, it’s good to go. And if you’re not about the cheap and dirty domestic, Abita’s flagship is a great move.
Mimosas are never a bad start, but on Sunday we like to up our game to this local, classy champagne cocktail.
Fire up that Drizly app and order some drinks for delivery before you grab your spot on the parade route. As long as you’re “neutral ground” side of the parade, we’ll be delivering! Do us a solid and walk a block off the route so we can get to you. Bonus: Put a 10 LB bag into your cart at checkout, use promo code ICE and it’s on the house!