The best time of the year is finally here, babes! Mardi Gras season is in full-swing in NOLA. How do I know this? Because I’ve had king cake for breakfast 3 times this week and there’s an abundance of normally-absent glitter and beads all over my house. That can only mean one thing. Carnival time!
Any babe or dude that is familiar with New Orleans knows a thing or two about Mardi Gras. However, if you’re new or just need to up your Gras game, I’m here to provide you with some life hacks that will keep you hydrated, happy and most importantly a free citizen this Mardi Gras season. Be sure to share with your other basic friends. We all need a refresher course sometimes!
1. Charge Your Dang Phone
Every year, without fail, you see her. It’s bad. She’s crying. She’s asking to borrow a stranger’s phone. She’s drunk and “Can’t find Bethany!” Bethany might be a bad BFF but the drama is a little much, girl. You shake your head because her dilemma could have been so easily avoided if she had just charged her phone. Don’t be that girl. Bring your charger with you to the parade route or buy a handy/cute powerbank. Be sure to write your name on both because you know your friends that didn’t read this article are gonna want to “borrow.”
2. Plan a Meet-Up Spot
Have you ever tried to find someone in the middle of St. Charles during a parade? It’s like looking for a drunk needle in a mile long haystack. You’re getting on top of cars, getting on people’s shoulders, screaming into your phone “can you see me?” What is this, amateur hour? No, just pick a meeting spot/time, like a restaurant or a cross-street and wait for friends to arrive. Then, go rage together instead of having to constantly check your phone and leave your spot to go pick up a friend. Or you could just leave your friends behind. Like Bethany. Don’t be Bethany.
3. Eat & Stay Hydrated
Do not be the one friend that is propped up against the sidewalk practically dead. We are not here to cart your butt around while you are barely conscious. Unless you are buying drinks for everyone. Then maybe I’ll keep an eye on your practically dead body. Pace your drinking. Mardi Gras is a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to have a nice big lunch or snack (like King Cake!) before going out to a parade. You’re going to want to see the end of the parade!
And avoid nasty hangovers by staying happy and hydrated. You probably have to go to work or to another parade the next day. You can’t slack during Mardi Gras! Don’t be a rookie, eat a cookie or a cake or a burger.
4. Bring a Cooler
You can’t go back and forth between the bar or restaurant every time you want a beer. One, that is expensive and two, you’ll miss the parades. Instead, bring a cooler and fill with your favorite drinks. This is a great life hack because it will help cut down on your booze costs and coolers are a great place to sit for a spell! Bring a Styrofoam one and throw it away when your all out of booze!
Having cold drinks means you’re going to need an adorable Babes & Beignets koozie, get yours here!
5. Don’t Drink & Drive
Every year, someone does it. In the age of Uber, there is no excuse. And guess what, when you get arrested during Mardi Gras weekend, you’re in there. All. Weekend. Long. As in all 4 days. Don’t do it. Uber. Pay for the Cab. Take the bus. Take a streetcar. Call your mom. Call a friend. Put a Facebook status up. There is no excuse.
6. Track the Parade
There is nothing more annoying than finally meeting up with your friends only to realize that you are either insanely early for the parade or annoyingly late. Avoid this lameness by getting the WDSU Parade Tracker App. This way you can see how much longer the parade will last, when the next one is arriving, or if parades are stalled. There is literally an app for everything nowadays. Get with it babes!
7. Find My Friend App (or a Leash)
If you’re anything like me, when you get a few drinks in you, you like to wander. I don’t know, maybe I saw a dog or wanted to get food from a shady gas station without judgement. However, I know I’ve scared my friends a few times. Well, if you or your besties are like me, get the Find My Friends app to keep track of everyone during the Mardi Gras season. Or you could invest in a leash.
8. FYB (Find Your Bathroom)
Knowing the closest facility is the key to hacking Mardi Gras. I don’t know you about you but I’m sick of seeing girls’ bare ass peeing between cars on the parade route. And best believe, if you’re the friend that takes a sip of beer and has to pee every 5 seconds afterwards, you’re going alone, girl. I’m not missing out on throws just cause you got a bladder like a king cake baby.
SUPER LIFE HACK ALERT: Bring your own toilet paper, and you will be a god amongst friends.
9. Tip Your Bartender & Servers
As someone who worked in the service industry for a long time, Mardi Gras can be an INSANE time for those working. Bars can be packed, everyone is drunk and yelling, a fight always breaks out, your manager is screaming, and there is always someone peeing/vomiting. Be kind and patient with those serving you and don’t forget to tip, darlings. I saw you pay $25 for a large pizza and mozzarella sticks and then eat it alone. You can tip your $5, too!
10. Basic Babes are Happy Babes
Mardi Gras is meant to be the party before the Lenten season begins. Don’t let anyone tell you that your parade outfits, antics or costumes are “basic.” Enjoy your Mardi Gras season, be safe, and get all the beads….then give them all to a kid. They love it. And Babes loves Mardi Gras!
Hope you enjoyed all of our Mardi Gras life hacks. Happy Carnival, NOLA!