Carnival begins each year on January 6, known as “Twelfth Night,” and lasts through Mardi Gras day, which falls on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Parades will once again roll according to the traditional schedule, with modifications to parade routes for crowd health and safety concerns, yet will still be imbued with sacred Carnival traditions and the season’s unique creative spirit.
In the days leading up to March 1. expect the king cakes to flow in abundance and krewes to find new ways to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive. So mask up and please stay mindful of the Phased Reopening Guidelines put forth by the city and remember there’s still several ways to celebrate…the biggest celebrations and parades begin the Wednesday before Fat Tuesday. On that Wednesday, the larger krewes (also known as parades) begin to roll. Prior to that Wednesday, various parades roll in neighborhoods across the city on weekends– beginning on Twelfth Night in January.
The 2022 Royal Invitation proclaims, “That the Festivities and Pageants arranged for this Celebration will surpass in joyousness and exceed in beauty the most brilliant attainments of the glorious past.” Flights and hotels fill up fast, so plan your trip ASAP!
Krew of House Floats
Krewe of House Floats is back this year which is a non-traditional krewe created specifically for the times we’re living in. It calls on members in neighborhoods all across the city to transform the exterior of their houses into a float, creating an opportunity for spectators to drive on by and remain safe from others. Check here for a map of the houses and create your own parade with the Krewe of House Floats this Carnival season. NOLA DMC is offering small private tours taking you to some of the most festive houses via bike, bus, car or pedicab. Last year, residents throughout the city and beyond began decorating their porches and yards in various themes, using whatever supplies they had available, to create iconic stories and over-the-top decor. More importantly, visitors could enjoy the decor in a safe way, without the normal crowds that line the parade routes. What a great idea to continue this new tradition!
Mardis Gras World
- Mardi Gras World: Stop by Mardi Gras World to get a behind-the-scenes land close-up look at the float building and decorating process that brings much of the season to life. Open daily for tours, this should top your list of things to do during the season. Mardi Gras World is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, with the first admission beginning at 9 a.m. and the last admission at 4:30 p.m. Watch the talented artists as they create their beautiful magic on each piece that is displayed on the different floats. I did not know until visiting that the various krewes do not build their own floats, direct this company to build for them. So many sections are recycled and look completely different on their new year’s float. Tickets are available online. Adult tickets are $22 and children’s tickets are $14.
Bourbon House – 144 Bourbon Street
When you get hungry, splurge on your extended weekend getaway and head to the famous Bourbon Street for an exquisite meal. An old-school seafood restaurant run by the Brennan family with a raw oyster bar and Creole fares like New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp and pasta with pork belly and crawfish tails. “If it’s not in season, you won’t find it on the menu” is a promise delivered. The Plateaux de Fruits de Mer is quite a starter — with oysters, shrimp, seafood salads, and marinated crab fingers. Bourbon House also lives up to its name with a selection of small-batch and single-barrel bourbons. Try the specialty frozen bourbon milk punch, or get one of the four-bourbon flights ($14-$18). The Bourbon House is open daily starting at 11 a.m. For more information, visit https://www.bourbonhouse.com/