Occurring on a different date each year in order to remain 47 days from Easter, the very first Marti Gras parade was held in New Orleans on February 24, 1857. Prior to that, the celebration was much smaller and confined to elaborate parties and balls, some of them dating back to 1702. The practice of ‘throws’ started in the 1870’s and today include items such as cups, doubloons, stuffed animals and of course, those legendary beads. The creation of a King of Carnival occurred in 1872 and included the establishment of the traditional Mardi Gras colors, song and flag.
Often known as the “Greatest Free Show on Earth” it costs nothing to attend, the parades have extended to include a number of neighborhoods. Starting about 2 weeks prior to Fat Tuesday, there are 12 days of parades all with different themes. Each theme is created by the individual Krewes or Mardi Gras organizations. Each Krewe has a separate theme including elaborate floats, costumes, and throws. Each of the 50+ krewes are organized around a particular theme or belief covering everything from Mythological figures to legends or professions. There is even a krewe known as the Krewe of Chewbacchus that is organized around a sci-fi theme.
And don’t think that this spectacular event is limited to adults. Mardi Gras is very family friendly, providing activities and events for everybody in the family. In fact, the last weekend before Fat Tuesday is referred to as Family Gras. It includes outdoor concerts, costume parties and some of the best food you will ever taste.
So what are you waiting for? Let Ingenious Travel book you a seat to the ‘Greatest Free Show On Earth”.
Did you know that by law, if you are a rider on a Mardi Gras float, you must wear a mask?