With the Mardi Gras season fast approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in all the events, parades, food and drinks without doing any preparation or planning beforehand. But as boring as it sounds, preparing for the fun of Mardi Gras can not only enhance your outings, but it also makes it a more stress-free holiday for everyone involved.
For one, preparing adequately for parades and their events is a must. Parades are obviously very chaotic as far as noise level. Taking into account the sheer amount of people packed into one corner of Lafayette, the shops, the constant throwing of beads, candy, and the floats it’s easy to see how this time of year can be overwhelming. So preparing, even if it is just a little bit, can be very helpful.
Trying to get there early is one tip I find essential. Especially if you’re traveling with children, it can be hard to find a good view of the parade and getting through traffic is almost always a nightmare. It will also allot you more time to get things ready for the day/night ahead.
Finding something to eat before the parade and deciding where to eat after is also a tip I find helpful. You’re going to be standing, walking, dancing and throwing yourself at flying beads all day, so fueling before and after is always a good idea. Always make sure you have a meal plan in place for the day.
This can be as simple as finding a restaurant to eat at that is on the parade route. It’s always fun to enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant before or after the parade. You can even find something as simple as fast food or something more true to the Louisiana season like king cake, po-boys or seafood. You can even pack something small to eat during the parade.
I also find it is important to stay hydrated throughout the entire event if you are going to go to multiple parades. Even though it is a colder time of year, it is still important to drink water with all the walking from place to place for energy.
It’s a good idea to look up parade routes before the day of and scheduling out which parades you want to hit. This will make it so that you know where you need to drive, when you need to go, and how fast you’ll need to get there to beat traffic.
Some notable parades coming up in Lafayette include the Lafayette Kick Off Parade, the Krewe of Bonaparte Parade, Queen Evangeline’s Parade, and the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade.
There’s also the Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette, fair in Cajun Field. It has carnival rides, food and a good view of some of the parade routes. I’m personally a big fan of the funnel cake they make every year and their Buckets of Fries.
Most importantly, Mardi Gras is a time to have fun and ignore the stressors of school and work. Viewing the equally gorgeous and eccentric floats, costumes and masks can be a good form of escape as we enjoy this small break from the demands of classes.
It’s also just a good chance to explore the city and get some of the amazing food this area is known for. There are countless celebrations that take place during the holiday and it is a chance to unwind from the everyday stresses of life and enjoy a piece of Louisiana culture and history.