The Maroon

The Easy Guide to Surviving Mardi Gras

Photo+credit%3A+Courtesy+of+Anna+Dobrowolski
Photo credit: Courtesy of Anna Dobrowolski

Photo credit: Courtesy of Anna Dobrowolski

Photo credit: Courtesy of Anna Dobrowolski

Hayley Hynes

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Elaborately decorated floats, colorfully dressed krewes with kings, queens and celebrities throwing beads your way — what else could it be but Mardi Gras? The Mardi Gras season officially begins on Jan. 6 and lasts until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, and is meant to be a celebration before Lenten fasting.

Everybody wants to have a good time at “the greatest free show on earth,” so here are a few tips to make sure you do:

Want good throws? Don’t be rude.

We can all get a little too caught up in the Mardi Gras spirit and get pushy, but that’s not the best way to get beads. According to Scott McDermott, computer science professor and krewe member of Chewbacchus and Tucks, the best way to catch krewe members’ attention is to smile.

“The worst is when someone comes up and tries to grab something. I immediately decide not to give them anything,” McDermott said.

Bring your own bag.

It may look cool to have all your beads hanging from your neck as you head back to campus, but it will also hurt. And once your Mardi Gras haul reaches a certain point, you will need a bag to carry everything. The upside to bringing your own bag is you can bring all the extra supplies that might be needed for your time on the parade route. I recommend food and a blanket at the very least. Drinks too, if you can’t bring an ice chest.

Plan ahead and prepare a route back to campus.

Kati Hash, history and teaching certification junior, said that her main tip for the Mardi Gras season is to be aware of your surroundings and where you end up on the parade route.

“If you are downtown and you don’t want to get stuck in the parades, with no way back to campus, plan accordingly,” Hash said.

And if you aren’t comfortable navigating the parade routes by yourself, find a friend who knows the city or consult Google Maps.

Make signs.

If you have time, put your crafting skills to good use and make a sign to get krewe members’ attention. McDermott recommends tailoring your sign to the krewe’s theme, as those signs are more eye-catching. Having small children or puppies around is another way to get attention, according to McDermott.

Stake out a bathroom.

Bathrooms: the holy grail of the Mardi Gras trail. You will need one, so be sure that when you pick a spot you know what your options are. There are Porta-Pottys set up along the parade route, restaurants and shops which will let customers use their facilities and if you are very lucky, a friend may have a house nearby.

Most importantly? Relax.

 

Mardi Gras is about taking a break to have a good time, act a bit silly and catch something to remind you of that simple, silly time. Don’t get so caught up trying to have the perfect Mardi Gras that you miss out.

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About the Writer
Hayley Hynes, Design Chief

Hayley is an English writing and Video Game design senior. Before embracing her master design skills and becoming Design Chief, she spent two semesters serving as a copy editor. Now instead of correcting grammar, she works to make The Maroon and The Wolf beautiful. In her spare time she can be found reading, crocheting or showing off pictures of her dogs.

Contact: [email protected] or @hayleyjoyce_h

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The Easy Guide to Surviving Mardi Gras