Dig Baton Rouge

The Mardi Gras Virgin Handbook

So you want to go to Mardi Gras, but you’re one of those kids from a state other than Louisiana. This means you’re a Mardi Gras virgin. No, your town’s dinky version of a parade doesn’t count. Don’t fret — we’re here to help you navigate the beauty that is Fat Tuesday.

Costumes
Maybe you’re the type of person who gawks at people wearing tutus and lime green leggings. Or maybe you’ve already gotten them dry-cleaned for 2017. Whichever side you’re on, commit to the look you’re going for. No one is going to judge you for being yourself during a holiday all about shenanigans. So if you want to paint your face, go for it. If you don’t, maybe just try some beads?

Location
Some people party hard, and if you think you know what I’m talking about, amplify it a few notches and you have the wonder that is Mardi Gras. Before you go into Mardi Gras, you have to know how much you can handle. Bourbon Street gets crazy Mardi Gras weekend, so if you want to ease in, maybe start with a day parade and work up to the most eventful weekend of the year in the Big Easy.

BYOTP
This stands for Bring Your Own Toilet Paper. You’ll thank us later. Another tip: Use the toilet paper to barter for a better spot in the bathroom line. Bonus: If you can find a friend that has a house near the parade route, use their bathroom as often as you can. If there’s a place near where you’re standing that sells wristbands, take them up on it for unlimited bathroom use.

Shoes
Wear closed-toed, old, ratty shoes that you don’t care about losing. Because they will get ruined, and you will not want them anymore after walking through the streets during the biggest party of the year.

Mind your own business
Don’t engage with the protesters. You can disagree with them all you want, but starting a fight won’t end the way you expect it to.

Small Groups
If you’re running 10 people deep, someone is going to get separated, and chances are you won’t find them easily. Break up into smaller groups of around four people and hold hands if you’re moving locations. Maybe make up a code name to yell if you get separated? It’s also a good idea to have someone in your group who’s from NOLA. Just sayin’.

BYOB
Bring your own drinks. Yeah, getting a Hurricane is fun and all, but when you’re spending $10 on each frozen beverage, you’re bank account is going to start groaning. Bring one rolling cooler for the whole group and take turns dragging it. You’ll save a ton of money and have all the drinks you could ever want. Just don’t forget to pack water.

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