1. Get There Early
Beat the traffic and get a good spot on the route.
2. Drink Water
It’s a marathon, not sprint. Drink water and stay hydrated. You can’t enjoy the parade if you’re passed out.
Again, marathon, not a sprint! Bring some snacks with you, you’ll be grateful you did. Treat it like a really long tailgate. A lot of people bring their grills and have a cookout. Otherwise you’ll be eating the moon pies that someone throws you from a float (and that’s cool too).
4. Don't Forget About The Kids
Kids love parades, but they don’t always have the best views. A lot of people bring ladders so their kids can easily see the parade, which is great! If you go the ladder route, make sure it’s secure, and know the rules. Ladders have to be at least six feet away from the curb for safety reasons.
5. Invest In A Portable Charger
You’re going to be outside for long periods of time. If you’re blessed to have a friend or family on the parade route, then you can just charge your phone at their house, but the majority of parade-goers don’t have that luxury. You’re going to need that battery life at the end of the night to call that Uber, and if your phone is dead you’ll be regretting all those selfies in front of that guy dressed as the Rougaroux.
6. Bring A Cooler
Put your water and snacks in there! Oh, and any other cold beverages : )
7. Pick A Home Base
Pick a tree, telephone pole, or building and that spot that will serve as a meet up area. That way when your group breaks up to go walking/bathroom breaks/etc., everyone knows where to go to reconnect.
8. Don’t Jump the Barricades
They’re there for your safety. Don’t jump over them to get that super-cool-awesome-throw that’s in the middle of the street. Just let it go.
9. Bring A Chair
When you’ve been standing for four hours and waiting for the next parade to start, a chair can really be a Godsend.
10. Know Where To "Go"
Benny Grunch said it best, "Ain't No Place To Pee On Mardi Gras Day." If you don't have any friends or family that live on the parade route, look into restaurants/businesses that offer bathroom passes. It's worth it! But there are also port-o-pottys all over.
11. Remember Where You Parked
If you’re driving, make sure you’ve parked in a safe location and maybe take a picture of the nearby street, or put a pin in your maps app so you can remember where you parked.
12. Read The Parking Signs
Double check to make sure you're in a legal spot. Nothing worse than coming back to your car to find out it has been towed.
13. Don't Drink And Drive
Seriously. In the land of Uber and Lyft, there’s just no reason to drink under the influence. Don’t be stupid.
14. Get The App
Yep, there’s an app for that. It shows you the exact route of the parade, but the best part is it’ll tell you if the parade is delayed or stopped in an area. There’s a couple different ones out there, and once you use it you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
What are some of your Mardi Gras hacks? Let us know in the comments below.