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Arts & Culture

GoNOLA’s Ultimate Guide to Mardi Gras

Professor Longhair said it best: “If you go to New Orleans, you better go to the Mardi Gras!” Well, the Mardi Gras is here, friends. The time has come for parades, costumes, beads and LED trinkets, unbridled ecstasy and even more king cake. If you’re a Mardi Gras virgin, or even if you’ve had a long standing love affair with Carnival, we have some inside intel on maximizing the fun from locals who have been around the Mardi Gras block a time or two. Use our Ultimate Guide to Mardi Gras to navigate the parade waters, but don’t forget the most important part: anything can happen, and it’s best to just laissez le bon temps rouler!

new orleans mardi gras

Mardi Gras TV

Go on a digital journey of Mardi Gras in New Orleans with our GoNOLA TV Carnival episodes. You’ll find out how to do Mardi Gras like a local from Fleurty Girl, get a behind the scenes look at Mardi Gras from Mardi Gras World president Barry Kern and get the low down on that beautiful purple, green and gold pastry called king cake.

Mardi Gras Like a Champ

Everyone creates their own unique, special Mardi Gras experiences every year. You can set expectations, and in most cases, they’ll be exceeded, and that unknown factor is the beauty of Mardi Gras. That being said, we’ve gained some valuable information from parading over the years, so we have some pro tips for Mardi Gras Day and a Mardi Gras Survival Guide you might want to refer to before you start making your own memories this year.

Mardi Gras Food

Cheering, clapping, dancing, begging for beads, and having a generally awesome time can really work up one’s appetite! We’ve compiled all the best restaurants, both fancy and divey, that will be open along the parade route and most importantly, on Mardi Gras Day!

Mardi Gras Radio

Mardi Gras 2013 marks the one year anniversary of the GoNOLA Radio podcast. Last year, we had some big names in Mardi Gras on our pilot episode, including Mr. Mardi Gras himself, Arthur Hardy, the legendary Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, the Cake Man Steve Himelfarb from Cake Cafe, and female Mardi Gras Indian Ausettua Amore Amenkum. This year, our hosts George Ingmire and Mikko sat down with Fleurty Girl, the 2013 Goddess Nyx, to talk about Mardi Gras from a local’s perspective.

Mardi Gras Style

There’s a particular fashion that accompanies parading for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. An emphasis on functionality is key, and of course looking good at the same time. GoNOLA’s resident fashionista Kate Grace Bauer gives us her day to night Mardi Gras Style Guide, plus see how to make a show stopping costume for Fat Tuesday.

King Cake Culture

The official food of Carnival is of course king cake. King cake represents the epiphany, and the purple, green and gold coloring symbolizes the three wise men who visited the Christ Child on Twelfth Night. Refer to our guide of where to get the traditional go-to king cakes for purists, and if you’re feeling adventurous, where to get some creative renditions from some newcomers to the scene. If you’re feeling ambitious, learn how to make a king cake yourself or try your hand at making a king cake cocktail.

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