Carnival like a local Mardi Gras

There is no bigger celebration held in the Crescent City than that of Carnival. There’s much more to Mardi Gras than Fat Tuesday. Beginning on January 6th with the Feast of the Epiphany, King Cakes emerge from ovens by the thousands, Carnival revelers put the finishing touches on handmade Mardi Gras costumes, Phunny Phorty Phellows kick off the first parade of festival season and travelers flock to New Orleans as locals laissez les bons temps rouler all the way to Fat Tuesday on March 5th. As anyone who is born and raised in New Orleans will tell ya’, Mardi Gras day is but one day in the season of Carnival, and there’s no better way to experience it than like a local.

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New Orleans Mardi Gras festival Marching Band

In 1872 the Krewe of Rex presided over the first daytime parade of Carnival and, to this day, remains honored as the King of Carnival with the final parade of Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday.

Freshly baked cheese King Cake for celebrating Mardi Gras.

Every year, locals kick off Carnival season on Twelfth Night with the street car ride of the Phunny Phorty Phellows from Carrollton Station all the way down St. Charles Avenue.

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery Mardi Gras Hotel in New Orleans

The first walking parade of Carnival is led by the Krewe of Joan of Arc, named after the patron saint of the city, and is known locally as Joanie on a Pony.

Krewe of Barkus, dogs in a Mardi Gras parade down Canal Street

Sunday February 24th is for the dogs. Featuring hundred of dogs dressed in themed costumes, the Krewe of Barkus puts a beaded paw forward for man’s best friend.

Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans

Saturday February 16th celebrates the Krewe de Vieux – an adult themed, politically satirical parade that meanders its way from the Marigny through the French Quarter.

On February 23rd, OG Krewes like Sparta and Pygmalion parade during the day and parades like the Krewe of Caesar and Krewe of Olympia roll into the evening through Metairie and Covington.

The second weekend of parades begin on Wednesday, February 27th and continue through March 5th, concluding with the Krewe of Rex on Fat Tuesday.