When attending Mardi Gras parades, you need to be strategic and plan ahead. Parades are a lot of fun but you don’t want to leave home without a few items to bring with you.
- First you need a spot to watch the Parade from- The routes for the Mardi Gras parades in Lake Charles head from the Civic Center all the way down Ryan Street to McNeese State University. That is a long stretch and when you are riding on a float you have to pace yourself! Throwing to the crowds is an art like a quarterback throwing a football pass! You also don’t want to run out of beads before the end of the parade route. So picking a halfway spot as a spectator will be to your advantage to get some good loot.
- Bring your lawn chairs, snacks and ice chest and be prepared to camp out ahead of time for some Mardi Gras tailgating!
- Bring a bag to keep all those beads and goodies you catch. Better have some cash too in case you need to run to the store to replenish your ice chest or buy the kids something from those street vendors!
- Once the parade starts you have to get the attention of the riders on the floats so they throw something to you. It is customary to shout “throw me something mister”. Some people will hold up an umbrella to catch the beads and candy, others let the goodies fall into the beds of their trucks. Others will dance or dress crazy. You will also want to learn the “duck and cover” move to keep from being pelted in the face with beads (ouch)!
As the floats roll down the street they honk and play loud music, everyone is in a “party” mode. It is just plain fun!
The Children’s parade is not extravagant or on a grandeur scale like what you will see in New Orleans or our own Lake Charles Krewe of Krewes parade on Fat Tuesday. This parade is geared to kids and it is a great family event to enjoy. Even Gumbeaux Gator showed up riding on the Southwest Louisiana Tourist Bureau float!
I had a prime spot today in the parking lot of Louisiana Mortgage Associates where we gathered with a bunch of our friends and their children for today’s parade activities. I think you will see how much fun a Mardi Gras parade can be.