Beads, Bayou and Beignets

Let’s visit the Big Easy, better known as NEW Orleans…

The beginning of the new year is a great time to hop in the RV and head to New Orleans. Mardi Gras is a huge tourist draw for many first time or repeat visitors to this Louisiana city surrounded by a swampy bayou on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico.

This year Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 13th. Every year Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, falls on a different date depending on the observance of Ash Wednesday, which begins the religious season of Lent. However, Mardi Gras is most famous for its costume parties, parades, rich foods and famous “beads” which give it more of a carnival atmosphere.

Mardi Gras mask

Mardi Gras mask

There are 70+ parades scheduled this year. So… you should be able to see a few or many, depending on your time and interests. There are even family parades that are much more low key so everyone in the family, young and old alike, can experience Mardi Gras.

MARDI GRAS parades begin in January, so if you want to avoid the most crowded time and still see some spectacular floats check out the earlier scheduled parades. The peak Mardi Gras time is the weekend prior to Fat Tuesday. This is when you will see the most elaborate floats built by different krewes. A krewe is a social organization whose main purpose is to plan, design and build a float for a Mardi Gras parade.

One cannot attend Mardi Gras without indulging in the delicious cuisine from different cultures. How about trying some sinful beignets (pastry introduced by French immigrants), gumbo (a spicy Creole stew), Po’Boy (sandwich invented to feed striking streetcar workers in 1929) or just some good old red beans and rice.

There are numerous campgrounds near the city, but plan ahead to be sure of availability during this busy tourist event.  Visit our page on Louisiana RV Campgrounds for ideas on places to camp.

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