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Confused about parades

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Confused about parades

My husband and I are taking our first trip to NOLA from 2/4-2/8. One of the things I am most excited about, is going to a few of the parades. I picked this time because I read on here it was "Mardi Gras Light", and that is much more my husband's style. Looking at the parade schedule there does not seem to be very many in those 4 full days we are there, however, I just had an acquaintance visit and saw on her Facebook posts that she ran across several parades while she was there(in September). Is this just the norm? Are there parades all the time and the Mardi Gras ones are just extra special. Should I switch my reservation to Mon-Friday to catch the Thursday parades (it would cost me minimal to do so)? Any other hints or must do's you can offer a first timer? Thanks so much. We are staying at the French Market Inn.

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14 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Confused about parades

"Mardi Gras Lite" is February 2 through 4 in 2018, and has four "sets" of large float parades into the Central Business District and along one side of the French Quarter. The next large float parades start February 7 and continue daily through Fat Tuesday (February 13).

Yes, there are smaller walking group and/or smaller float parades, and smaller "second line" parades, year round. But with the exception of the single Halloween and Christmas parades, the famous large classic floats only roll during the last twelve days of Carnival (February 2-13 in 2018).

For maximum parade exposure during a four-night trip, but avoiding the final four days of Carnival, you should stay 2/1 through 2/5, or 2/6 through 2/10.

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2. Re: Confused about parades

Mardi Gras is Feb 13 and the first parade is on Three Kings Day Jan 6. The time in between is often called Carnival.There are parades in the interim, mainly in the couple of weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. Google for dates. Parades are more often on weekends , except f course Mardi Gras and Lundi Gras, so your dates, being weekdays, will have less..

The parades you refer to in the fall are likely second lines which are smaller local parades sponsored by neighborhood groups. A differnet (but very fun) thing.

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San Francisco...
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3. Re: Confused about parades

You can see a schedule of parades here:

www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule.html#

There are parades on 2/4 (Sunday), 2/7 (Wed) and 2/8 (Thurs)

No parades on 2/5 or 2/6.

New Orleans...
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4. Re: Confused about parades

There are several “Uptown” parades on Sunday the 4th. These will be family fun with lots of throws. Also that Sunday is the Krewe of Barkus (all dogs!) in the Quarter. Thursday the 8th is one of our favorite parades: Krewe of Muses. Mardi Gras light is great! Have fun and we’ll see you out there!

Edited: 21 October 2017, 12:18
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Midlothian, VA
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5. Re: Confused about parades

If you can add a few days, try to be there on Wed., the 7th and Thurs., the 8th. Two of our favorites are the all-women parades, Muses and Nyx, that roll from Napoleon Avenue uptown, down St. Charles Avenue to Canal Street uptown. They have fabulous floats, costumes and throws and are so much fun. All men dancing group in short shorts, great marching bands, flambeau carriers and one of favorites is the men in motorized lounge chairs in smoking jackets with their go cups. If in town, try to watch along St. Charles in Garden District, as crowds smaller and friendlier than downtown!

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College Station...
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6. Re: Confused about parades

Most of the very popular (crowded) parades, like Nyx and Muses, go up Tchoupitoulas Street after rolling down Canal Street. If staying at French Market Inn you might want consider watching on Tchoupitoulas Street between Gravier St and Lafayette St if the particular parade takes that route.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Confused about parades

Thanks so much for the advice. This helps tremendously. :)

los angeles
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8. Re: Confused about parades

Don't miss Barkus! So fun.

Midlothian, VA
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9. Re: Confused about parades

Also, recommend watching parades near the middle of their route, as if you watch toward the end of parades, many of float riders might be out of throws.

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10. Re: Confused about parades

"...I just had an acquaintance visit and saw on her Facebook posts that she ran across several parades while she was there(in September). Is this just the norm? Are there parades all the time and the Mardi Gras ones are just extra special."

I do want to mention that the most popular parades in New Orleans are during Mardi Grass Season (between the Twelfth Night to Ash Wednesday.

There are other parades throughout the year. The Irish-Americans have the Irish/St. Patrick's Day parades in March. The Italian-Americans have the Italian/St. Joseph's Day parades in March also. In St. Bernard Parish, they have the Irish Italian Islenos Parade usually in April. In October, there are Halloween parades (Krewe of Boo and Molly in the Market are the two I know off). There is the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade. In September, they might be other parades but I do know but the one I know off is the parades for the Southern Decadence (an annual six-day event held in New Orleans, Louisiana by the gay and lesbian community during Labor Day Weekend, climaxing with a parade through the French Quarter on the Sunday before Labor Day) which I do know of straight people that enjoys it.

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