2017 Mardi Gras Parade is on 28th February 2017, every year the whole event is organized by “Krewes.” This organization is involved in preparations of costumes, balls, annual parades, and parties.
What is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras is a season, is not just a day. Fat Tuesday is the biggest day of celebration. Few people are worried about how do they come to know that which Tuesday will it be the Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is always a day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is about 46 days earlier than Easter. It is one of the biggest occasion in the city of New Orleans. It occurs between Tuesday from 3rd to 9th of March. Catholic Church usually confirms the actual date. This outstanding celebration is full of costumes, parades, and many parties.
History of Mardi Gras:
The celebrations of Mardi Gras came to North America from Europe. People of Paris are celebrating Mardi Gras from middle ages. In 1699, a French explorer Bienville and few of his men were able to explore Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico. They have set their camp in about 30 miles away from the current location of New Orleans on the western bank.
Point du Mardi Gras:
The name of that place was decided as “Point du Mardi Gras.” Bienville had established New Orleans in 1718, from 1730 Mardi Gras was celebrated in New Orleans openly but not the way we know today. Those parades were quite different at that time. In the start of 1740 Louisiana’s governor whose name was Marquis de Vaudreuil established society balls.
People celebrate Mardi Gras with carriages, horseback riders and masks since 1830. In 1856 a team of six members natives of New Orleans formed an organization of Krewe named as Comus. Comus have brought a new trend of magic and other mysteries to New Orleans.
Twelfth Night Revelers:
The second team created in 1870’s, and its name was “Twelfth Night Revelers.” The announcement of Mardi Gras Festival was printed in the newspaper with the full schedule and float designs. Firstly, these productions were small, and they cannot be clearly seen.
In 1886 these events were properly produced and printed in newspapers, colorful pictures do justice with Mardi Gras Costumes. These colorful printing gave worth to the work of different designers those were producing Carnival floats and other professional costumes.
King of Carnival:
A group of businessmen started a King of Carnival in In 1872, after which the first parade at day time was done. That group has introduced the Romanoff’s family color as the carnivals official color to give honor to grand Russian King Duke Alexis Romanoff.
Romanoff’s family color was Purple, gold, and green. Purple is for justice; gold stands for power and green stands for faith. After 1872, construction of the floats for Carnival is started all over New Orleans.
Designing and making of the different costume also began in New Orleans after 1872. In 1890 the grandfather of all of the marching clubs “Jefferson City Buzzards” came into existence. Original Illinois Club found in 1894 and 1896 first female group was also launched. In 1899, there was snow on the Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, that parade done with a frozen mustache at that time. Another famous Krewe Zulu appeared in the 20th century.
Mardi Gras During World Wars:
Festival canceled in 1918-1919 due to brutal First World War. In 1940 the new spirit of Mardi Gras was observed, but there was also cancellation of 4 carnivals due to World War II. After that, this event celebration goes through some Up’s and Down’s, but it is celebrated all over the years.
Mardi Gras in 2017:
Between 24th of February to 28th 2017 Mardi Gras celebrations will be started. Mardi Gras New Orleans Southern Louisiana will be on 28th of February in 2017. Mardi Gras 2017 schedule, parade, and dates are announced.
Mardi Gras Parades:
The whole season of Mardi Gras has different parade schedules and routes. There are many Krewe those have a different schedule for the event. Mardi Gras Schedule thoroughly explains the route of the parade.
A quick review of the parade is here.
Phunny Phorty Phellows and Societe Des Champs Elysee will march, Phunny phorty phellows will start their march at 7 in the evening from Uptown New Orleans while Champs will start their march at 7.30 PM from French Quarter.
7th of January:
Krewe of Joan of Arc will march at 7 PM from French Quarter.
11th of February:
Krewe of Bilge, Krewe of Poseidon and Krewe of Mona Lisa will hit the streets on Slidell area on 12 PM, 1 PM and & 7 PM respectively. On the same day Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion will march on French Quarter at 6.30 PM.
12th of February:
Krewe of little Rascals, Krewe of Slidellians and Perseus will hit Metairie and Slidell on 12 PM and 1 PM respectively.
17th of February:
Krewe of Cork will come on roads at 3 PM on French quarter. Kerwe of Oshun and Kerwe of Cleopatra will be on streets at 6 PM and 6.30 PM to Uptown New Orleans.
17th of February:
Krewe of Excalibur, Athena and Krewe of Eve will march in Metairie and Mandeville streets at 7 PM and 7.30 PM
18th of February:
Krewe of Paws, Titans will come on Slidell and Mystic Knight of Adonis will come on Westbank of the river on 18th of February. There will be the parade by Tchefuncte and Nemesis On Madisonville and Nemesis at 1 PM at the same day. New Orleans will have parades by five different Krewes on 18th of February.
19th of February:
There are four parades in Uptown New Orleans and 2 in Slidell and one in French Quarter area.
22nd & 23rd of February:
Two Krewe will come on 22nd of February and other three on 23rd of February on Uptown New Orleans. There are many other Krewe those will come on the roads, visit the official page for more information about parades and their schedule.
Tip: To be aware of the routes and schedule follow Mardi Gras officials on Twitter and Facebook because the routes are changeable.
Mardi Gras Traditions:
Mardi Gras is all about music, picnics, parades and parties. Revelers are there in costumes usually of official Mardi Gras color. Sometimes, there are very crazy Mardi Gras Costumes. All those Revelers who have experienced this event before they usually bring big bags with them to catch trinkets and beads from the parade.
1. Mardi Gras Balls:
The king and queen of every krewe work the whole year for the ball. The identity is not revealed until the night of the ball. Mostly the balls are the private affair of any krewe. At first, debutantes are introduced at Ball Tableau; children serve pages to the court and women dressed in ball gown hopes that they will get call out the card.
She waits for her turn to get called out for dance with krewe member who sent the card. To attend the ball, one must get an invitation and those people who do not get invitation do not feel left out of it.
2. Mardi Gras Color:
The Mardi Gras have some official colors, Purple, green and gold. They are set to be the official colors of Mardi Gras after Russian family color. It is better if you wear Mardi Gras colors if you are not wearing costumes.
3. Mardi Gras Masks:
It is a tradition to wear a mask in Mardi Gras, this mask is the most likely Mardi Gras Tradition. People wear masks for a different purpose, specifically in Mardi Gras people wears a mask for ritual celebrations. It is also considered as the act to hide their original face from society, and everyone have to wear a mask, float riders have to wear a mask. On the Fat Tuesday of Mardi Gras, everyone is free to wear a mask which increases excitement.
4. King Cake:
Another interesting tradition was of the King cake, there are great bakers those are still baking same cakes in honor of King so named as King’s cake. Each king cake has a small plastic baby in it. The lucky person who got the slice that is having a baby in it, have to continue the festivities. Originally these cakes were quite simple, made up of dough with some decoration, but now they are very fancy.
5. Mardi Gras Beads and Throws:
What do you think when you heard about the word throw. In Mardi Gras, different krewe members throw different things like cups, toys, beads and many other things. In 1884 people throws medallions and now those medallions are changed into doubloons. Trinkets throwing started in 1870’s.
Tip: If you want to get something then don’t stand with old grandmothers with high heels. As they look old, but they are quite quick on those feet. It is better not to pick doubloon from the ground as many others will rush towards it may damage your fingers.
Mardi Gras Attractions:
If you are planning to visit New Orleans in Mardi Gras days, then it is better if you are well prepared for this visit. There are some other attractions in New Orleans that have worth enough to visit once.
1. Louisiana State Museum:
Louisiana State Museum contains everything from which one can quickly discover Mardi Gras. Lousiana State Museum includes History, parades, Masking and Balls. It located at 751 Chartres Street in New Orleans.
2. Germaine Cazenave Museum:
This museum is also an attractive place to visit as it contains collections of different Mardi Gras costumes, gowns and some other memorable things made in France. Caze located on 813 Rue Bienville in New Orleans.
3. Antoine’s Restaurant:
This restaurant decorated with green and rich gold. There is a room in this restaurant, the name of the restaurant is Rex. Its name is after Krewe of Rex. This room is a perfect space for private functions, having photographs of Rex royalty. This room has a space for 50 people in it.
4. Mardi Gras World:
Mardi Gras world contains all kind of floats and props those used in Mardi Gras parades. Kern Studios is involved in making of outstanding floats those seen in Mardi Gras parades since 1947. One can easily observe that how this Mardi Gras festival is alive until now, what kind of changes made in floats. It is better to bring a camera with you to take those memories with you.
Mardi Gras Vacation Packages:
There are many different packages available for Mardi Gras, as a significant number of visitors come to celebrate in New Orleans. Let’s have a look at number available packages and deals.
1. Mardi Gras Parade Tickets:
Different packages announced about the tickets. One can easily enjoy excellent seating places exactly on the parade route. One can easily enjoy all the floats and maskers while for there are multiple portable restrooms for rest. Great packages are available for families; Mardi Gras ticket packages are available here.
2. La Casita:
La Casita is hotel located on the route of the parade. One can easily access this restaurant and get some available packages. These packages include food, drinks and most importantly bathroom access. This restaurant also has a package with unlimited beverages. Minimum package starts from 35$. Las Casita packages are available here.
3. 709 Wear:
Mardi Gras official colors and go on 709 St Charles where you can watch the parade from grandstand and balconies which attached with party rooms. There are bars, food, and private bathrooms available if you buy a ticket for the main week you can get free three day pre week pass.
4. Maison Bourbon Jazz Club:
The Jazz parlor in Maison Bourbon Club located on the second floor from where one can easily see Bourbon and St Peter Streets. They are offering some Mardi Gras packages.
Few other packages are also available like Bourbon Heat and Petite Bourbon. One can enjoy in a nightclub and bars, another restaurants named as Court of Two Sister is also announcing different dinners packages.
Recommendations and Tips for Mardi Gras Parade:
Firstly, you must have room to stay in New Orleans to completely enjoy this parade. One problem with the booking of the hotels is that they usually book for at least four to five days. Usually, rooms booking starts from August, so don’t wait and just book hotels.
• Plan your trip before January as there are different requirements and packages, like minimum night stay.
• According to new rules, there should not be any ladders and other personal effects at least 6 feet close to the curb. Parking on Napoleon and St Charles is prohibited, and there would be no portable toilets are allowed on neutral grounds.
• It is better to plan your transportation as on the Mardi Grass Weekend there would not be any vehicular traffic. Only special passes of French quarter and hotel guests are allowed to go through police barricades.
• Try to avoid to park your car on the parade route or 15 feet curb corners before three hours of the show; you might get fine for it.
• In this season you are allowed to dress in any costume you want, so it would be very exciting to dress in crazy costumes.
• Catch Mardi Gras throws but is careful about it. Don’t jump high to get throws, call different float riders and ask them to through the thing.
• Don’t run on the streets and don’t go close to floats.
• Don’t pick beads and doubloons from the floor as you might get hurt.
Mardi Gras 2017 Hotels:
There are a significant number of hotels those are quite close to parade routes, and one has easy access to the parade routes.
• Grand Boutique Hotel: Location of this hotel is on the St Charles Avenue. This street is on the main Mardi Gras Parade route. You would have easy access to the parade.
• Embassy Suites New Orleans Hotel: Location of this hotel just five blocks away from famous French Quarter. This hotel is quite an upscale hotel and has quite a short distance to various famous attractions.
• Garden District Hotel Collection: This hotel provides beautiful rooms and great savings over the major downtown hotels. However, this lovely hotel is just a few steps away from main parade routes, and this hotel also provides a quick street ride to downtown.
• The Pelham Hotel: This hotel offers European style rooms and sitting. They are also providing personal service to the guests. Pelham Hotel location is near to French Quarter. Moreover, it is few footsteps away from the main parade route.
• French Quarter Suites: This hotel is in the midway of Uptown Mardi Gras Parade and French Quarter area. This hotel is in the best locations and provides great Gardens wall and courtyard. If you are the group of few members, then this hotel can handle 26 people together in a room.
There are many other available hotels those are near parade areas. Hotel Royal, Hotel Provincial, Hotel St. Helene and French Quarter Landmark Hotel are the available options near the parade streets.
Dancing Troupes in Mardi Gras 2016:
Every year on Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras there are beautiful dancing troops and marching clubs those are wearing big costumes and having long hair and big color. Let’s discuss some inhabitants of the parade from last year.
• Bearded Oysters: There was a dancing troupe of girls and boys, those are not involved in dancing, wooing or shaking like other groups. This group performed stilted kind of choreography; men were wearing a chief dress, and those people are called oyster shuckers.
• Krewe of Rolling Elvi: If you want to see the marching troops then don’t miss this one when you are visiting Mardi Gras. This group has two primary goals; the first one is to entertain people and secondly, honor the highness of the king. This group usually have a man riding a scooter.
• Muff-a-loattas: This group perform muffle dance, so if you never saw muffle dance before then it is the best time to watch. These ladies are usually dressed up in poodle skirts and saddle shoes looking like 1950’s schoolgirls.
• Organ Grinders: This group constituted of women, they are known as “Sextah monkeys.” They usually wear gold and blue color and amazingly entertain people by dancing and wooing.
There are many other dancing troupes that you should not miss like Camel Toe Lady Steppers and NOLA Cherry Bombs. There are also many famous dancing groups like 610 stompers and Roux La La and Sirens of New Orleans those have a worth second and third look. If you visit, Mardi Gras must wait for these groups to come on the street as they have worth to see it once.
Upcoming Mardi Gras Dates:
Mardi Gras will be celebrated on 28th of February 2017 this time. Schedule about next year’s Mardi Gras celebration is final. 13th of February 2018 is the next date of Mardi Gras 2018 and Mardi Gras 2019 will be on 5th of March.
A large number of people do not know about Mardi Gras, so they have a different kind of questions too, let us discuss few questions people asks about Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras Start and End Dates:
People usually ask when does the event of Mardi Gras start and end? The season of Mardi Gras starts on Jan 6, it is the kings day, and the Fat Tuesday would never be the same day. It is like Easter Sunday is not the same day every year.
New Orleans Weather during Mardi Gras:
Visitors usually search about the weather of New Orleans in the days of Mardi Gras, weather of new Orleans in the carnival season is changeable sometimes it is scorching, and sometimes it is freezing. It is better to take both kinds of dresses if you are planning to visit New Orleans on the Holiday of Mardi Gras.
Cost to Visit Fat Tuesday Parades:
Some people ask about the cost to visit and watch Fat Tuesday parades; it is free of cost even you might get bags full beads and throws. If you have limited time, but you want to visit New Orleans too, so the week before Fat Tuesday is the best time as there would be biggest parades of the season in that week. The parade will continue if there is light rain, it will only postpone when there are severe weather predictions.
Must Attend Event Full of excitement and traditions. Cheap and low cost travel packages are available and you can save more to book a package in mid of January.
Don’t forget to take your family and children with you on this trip as it is a family festival event. We hope so you will join Mardi Gras 2017 and enjoy all the celebrations going on there.