Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is literally the most special time of the year. I bought a house in New Orleans seven years ago so I am a little late to the party here. I actually just started fully participating in the celebration three years ago and now I would never think of missing the festivities. I don’t have a full costume closet like many of my local friends but I am working on it and now have a wig for every type of occasion.

Whether it is a walking parade in my Marigny neighborhood or the large parades on the Uptown routes, I just can’t get enough. I turn into a six-year-old child screaming for throws and special beads from each Krewe. I always go out with the intention of taking photos. Some days I do focus on photography but most of the time I get sucked into the parade excitement and don’t usually go home with many images.

Mardi Gras gets a bad reputation for just being about drunk people on Bourbon Street but it is really so much more. There are so many other activities that are fun for the whole family that doesn’t involve hand grenades from Tropical Isle (although I do love a hand grenade year-round!)

There is also a huge underground scene where locals take in crazy fun activities like Choke Hole Drag Queen wrestling and alternatives like Krewe of Vaporwave.

I also feel like I cannot discuss Mardi Gras without discussing King Cake. I love sweets year-round but King Cake in New Orleans holds a special place in my heart. This year I found the King Cake Hub and bought too many king cakes for one person so I had plenty to share with friends and neighbors. My favorite still remains a Manny Randazzo King Cake – sometimes an unpopular opinion. I was even able to test a slice of the famous Dong Phuong king cake. But I still stick with my opinion of Randazzo being a winner.

No matter where you are from you should put New Orleans Mardi Gras on your travel experience bucket list. There is something for everyone with non-stop activities for weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Tuesday.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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