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What to expect

It’s all about letting your hair down, relinquishing your inhibitions and getting down with the party mood. Famed for its truly good-times vibe, the New Orleans Mardi Gras is infamous for its hedonism. Masks, music and food all take centre stage in the season, which is centred historically around the French Quarter of the city.

There are parades each day of the fortnight-long season, with street events organised by private clubs known as krewes. Colourful fancy dress fills the streets, ‘throws’, which can be anything from colourful beads to plastic toys, are tossed out from the parade to the crowd, and there has been an evermore popular trend in recent years for flashing along the route in order to cajole those on the parade to send more throws out into the crowd. There are more family friendly parade routes, but that would miss the point of it all, right? mardigrasneworleans.com

What else?

New Orleans is not just about Mardi Gras – it is a fascinating city steeped in culture and tradition. With influences coming from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, it is a melting pot of culture, food and music, with events taking place across the city all year round, from an autumn Voodoo Music festival, a Boudin, Beer and Bourbon season, and, of course, all manner of events that celebrate its jazz music heritage. Befitting a city that is seen, quite rightly, as the festival capital of the world, there is everything from music, culinary, art, theatre and multicultural events throughout the year, such as the Tenessee Williams fest, in honour of one of the city’s most famous sons, the Dirty Linen Night, the Louisiana Swamp Festival, and the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. You’ll never be short of a party in New Orleans. neworleansonline.com

Got that festival feeling? Check out TNT Tour Search where you can find incredible deals on festival experiences.


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Festival Guide: Mardi Gras
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