Here in the South, we know how to tailgate. There are fully-staffed bars outside of Tiger Stadium, chandeliers under the oaks in the Grove at Ole Miss and setups in Alabama’s Quad that rival the championship level of their teams. So yea, tailgating is an event, a production. Which makes it the perfect way to celebrate the mother of all events…MARDI GRAS! If you’ve ever been on a parade route, you know how crowded it can be and how important it is to have a spot for yourself, your friends and all of your supplies. So, before the parades start rollin’ this week, let’s look at everything you need for your Mardi Gras Tailgate!
Probably overlooked, but most definitely missed when it’s not there, the tarp is crucial. For starters, it creates your space. You now have a boundary set for you and your friends. It also protects you from slogging through the inevitable neutral ground mud and debris.
If you’ve ever spent a day watching Mardi Gras parades (especially with kids), you know how tiring it can be. Take advantages of the long lag-times in between parades by popping a squat in a comfy chair. Mardi Gras is a marathon, not a sprint, so take a load off and make it all the way through!
Speaking of kids, the excitement they show during a parade never gets old. BUT, there are lots of times where their views get obstructed by a massive crowd of adults. Enter the Mardi Gras ladder. This glorious piece of equipment ensures your child can see all the action all while sitting in a comfortable safe seat. Here’s how you can make your own!
Ice chest or cooler? However you say it, it’s crucial to have! Every good Nola party includes a good beverage, and you’re going to want to make sure yours stay icy cold this year. We got lost in a Mardi Gras Google wormhole and found this gem if you want to take it up a notch this year!
Clearly, this list is “in no order” because this one would be at the top! Like any other party in New Orleans, what you’re serving is a top priority. You’ll want to think football tailgate for this menu and stick to the finger foods that are perfect for grazing and sharing. Can’t think of what to bring? Let’s be honest, no one ever got mad about a platter of Popeye’s chicken or a delicious king cake!
So we’ve got drinks and food, now where are we going to put all of it? A table of course! This way, you can keep your setup organized and it’s another great way to set your “boundary.” We prefer folding tables that are easy to carry. The last thing you want to do after a long day of parading is haul a table back to your vehicle or home, so that folding table makes it quite simple.
Spend enough time at a parade, and the question inevitably comes to mind: “what are we going to do with all of these throws??” The answer is easy: trash bags. Of course, you also want to leave your neutral ground setup better than you found it, so bring extras for your trash and for those around you. Let’s keep NOLA beautiful!
You may want to play it safe with this one, especially the way the forecast is looking for this year. Fingers crossed we get more sunshine than rain, but no guarantees. So, just go ahead and pack a jacket just in case.
Happy Mardi Gras!
Can’t make it out to the parades this year? No worries! We have you covered with the New Orleans Advocate’s Krewe Cam sponsored by Gardner Realtors!