I have no excuse for writing so rarely, but I’m here to tell you all about Mardi Gras in New Orleans. There will be no flashing, just plain old-fashioned fun.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is all about parties, clubs, and parades. The season kicks off on January 6 and runs until Mardi Gras day–and ends traditionally with a police parade down Bourbon Street when everyone is sent home to sober up before Ash Wednesday. There are parades all throughout the season, with smaller walking parades kicking it off and leading up to the huge float-filled parades the two weekends before Lundi Gras (Monday) and Mardi Gras (Tuesday) day. These are amazingly fun–and very family friendly–events that roll throughout Uptown along the beautiful St. Charles Avenue. They’re a great excuse to spend all day outside with friends, listen to great music by local marching bands, and occasionally catch some cool things thrown off of floats.
And it just so happens that I managed to become a member of a krewe, one of the organizations that runs each parade! I got lucky enough to join the Mystic Krewe of Nyx after 1.5 years on the waiting list–which is actually a pretty short wait in this town. This is the city’s newest all-female krewe, about to roll for only the third time, so I really just happened to apply at exactly the right time. Most krewes have been around for decades, or even more than a century, and have epically long waiting lists. The Nyx list is already closed after attracting more than 2,000 people.
As a krewe, Nyx does several things. We have events throughout the year to meet our fellow Nyx sisters, have several ongoing charitable projects, and we organize a massive parade on Wednesday the week before Mardi Gras. There will be over 1,200 women riding in the parade in a few weeks. Each rider is assigned to a specific float–but sorry, I can’t tell you what our theme is or what float I’m riding on because it’s a secret til parade day! We each get to decide what kind of throws we’ll buy to toss out during the route–beads of all kinds, stuffed animals, light-up toys, you name it. Our signature throw is hand-decorated purses, and each of us makes some to toss out along the parade route. Signature throws are common among big krewes and are really exciting to catch! Here’s a sneak preview of one of mine:
I’m super excited to be riding in just a few weeks–a lot of people wait their whole lives to get the chance, so it’s amazing that I’ve gotten this opportunity. We also just had our Mardi Gras ball a week ago, which got us all in the mood and really excited to be in such a great krewe–here’s Mike and I at the ball, where masks are required until dinner is served:
If you ever have the chance to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you absolutely should. There are several weekends of parades and it’s an amazing party–everyone in the city lets down their hair, wears silly costumes, and just has a great time for a few weeks each year. Can’t wait to ride in two weeks and tell you all about it!
P.S. This barely scratches the surface of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Everyone has their own unique traditions for the season–there are flambeaux carriers, Mardi Gras Indians, neighborhood parades like Barkus, St. Anne, and Chewbacchus, and so, so much more.