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Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

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Irvine, California
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Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

Greetings,

I'm traveling solo across the US. And I would love to visit New Orleans for the rich culture it's known for.

My free dates will be from the 3/2/11 to 3/8/11, which falls during the Mardi Gras (Which means I have to book my trip very soon, and need your help soon as well :-)

I really want to seize the opportunity and go to N.O. on these date. However, I'm really worried that the Mardi Gras (Or the city on these dates) will be full of drunken tourist, and girls flashing. (Excuse my ignorance if that is wrong) But all I can think of about Mardi Gras are thousands of drunken college kids and girls flashing (Thats what I see on TV) So is it true ??? I hope I am wrong

I do not drink, and above all I want to go to N.O. to see the culture, taste the food and enjoy the Big Easy atmosphere, not to see girls flashing!

Do you recommend to go on these dates? and could you please explain to me (Where the nudity and drunkenness happens) if it truly happens?

And also what the best area to see most of the parades? Not the drunks and the girls!

Thanks..

Mystic, Connecticut
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1. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

I think you have described bourbon street. That would be a good place for you to avoid from about noon until 5 am the next morning. Go uptown to see the parades, it is more of a family environ, so I've heard.....going to be there for first time, myself.

Good luck on finding a hotel

Edited: 28 February 2011, 11:59
Blenheim, Canada
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2. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

It is Bourbon Street you described. Avoid it altogether, except in the morning and early afternoon, but on those dates, the massive crowds should be out by 10 am! You will always have the culture, food and history of NOLA when you go, but as a first time visitor ...Mardi Gras may not be the best time. First thing you should do is see if you can find a room. That may change everything if you can't.

Just to note, my sis and I went to Mardi Gras in 2009 for the first time. While there are mega crowds and lots of activity, we didn't really see any fall-down drunks or anyone flashing. Then again, we avoided Bourbon Street and stayed in the lower part of the Quarter.

Edited: 28 February 2011, 14:19
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3. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

Well, Mardi Gras isn't all drunken people and flashing women- but you will definitely see that on Bourbon Street. And even though I know Bourbon Street isn't for everyone, I can't imagine a visit to New Orleans without going there. It would be like going to Amsterdam and not seeing the famous red-light district. It might not be too bad from the 2nd thru the 4th, but starting on the weekend it will be packed, rowdy, and fun. In spite of the drunkenness and flashing, I personally think Mardi Gras is beautiful. I love the traditions, the color, the beads everywhere, the friendliness of the people. I think everyone should experience MG at least once in their lifetime.

Franklin...
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4. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

i hate flashing!

and rainbows!!

;)

Blenheim, Canada
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5. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

Magic--When we were down at Mardi Gras in 2009 we hardly saw any drunken people...but we stayed off of Bourbon Street. We basically stayed on Chartres Street and Decatur Streets and we had a fun time. I agree that all you see on tv are drunks and girls flashing their...junk, but Mardi Gras can be a LOT of fun simply by avoiding Bourbon Street after 5:00 pm. We stood on Canal Street and watched the parades and it was a hoot. No problems whatsoever!

Cliff Island, Maine
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6. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

What you described is pretty much Bourbon St on any given night. If you venture past that one street then you will be fine.

chicago
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7. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

Mardi Gras gets a bad rep because of what happens in a six-block area of a very large city.

Like the previous posters said, avoid Bourbon Street. Outside of the French Quarter, uptown and in the Garden District, Mardi Gras is generally a family affair, with families helping their kids catch beads thrown from floats and lots of barbecues and neighborhood fun.

You're going to see people drinking, as you will in any city when it's having a celebration, but it won't be falling down debauchery by any means.

Los Angeles
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8. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

If you don't already have a hotel reservation, you may have problems getting one.....

Mississippi
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9. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

Hotel rooms during those dates will be difficult to acquire. I would pick another date to visit NOLA when you would not encounter situations that you are not in favor of. NOLA is a great city and can be fun during MG if you choose the areas you will visit with caution. If you happen to be around parades and/or Bourbon Street during certain events you will encounter a lot of partying going on. Come back at a time you will be happy and you can enjoy the great attractions in NOLA.

Irvine, California
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10. Re: Is Mardi Gras all drunken people???

Thank you so much guys for the great info.. I will take the plunge and here I come New Orleans. About getting a hotel room, I was able to get a room with the Quality Inn. Its so expensive for Quality inn but it's worth spending the Mardi Gras in the Big Easy :-)

Thanks again!