One of my very favorite fesitvals ever is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and I’ve been more times than I can count on all fingers. If your only perception of Mardi Gras is ‘Bourbon Street and boobs’ then you are missing out on arguably the best part of Mardi Gras – the parades (this is where people get all the beads – not by showing their boobs, sorry guys).
Not to say that nothing scandalous ever happens on Bourbon anymore, but we have the internet now. You don’t need a plastic necklace and a Hand Grenade (that’s a drink, for all you newbies) to see a pair of boobs these days. The parade routes are generally very family-friendly places with kids and drunk adults alike lining the sidewalk side and the neutral groud side (google it) to catch cheap trinkets that somehow in the moment make you feel like you’ve won the lottery.
But if you live here in Central Florida and can’t make the trek to New Orleans, you can still get a taste of the Big Easy at Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration from now until April 4th. You can visit the “French Quarter” (aka the small park between Finnegan’s and Jimmy Fallon’s ride) and taste traditional New Orleans dishes like shrimp and andoullie gumbo, beignets, and king cake. In addition to the food, you can pick up a New Orleans-brewed Abita Purple Haze or my favorite, Abita Strawberry beer at several of the tents. The draft beer will set you back $12.79 for a 20 oz pour in a souvineer “glass”, or $9.99 for a refill or a 20 oz draft in a plastic cup.
There’s also a nightly parade where you can catch beads for yourself! Don’t expect any fancy beads like the ones above, those are only for purchase.
Like most Universal events, there is a specialty cocktail in a souvineer cup this year as well. You can choose from a Ragin’ Rumbalaya (coconut rum, melon liquor & pineapple), a Carnival Cocktail (similar to a long island ice tea) or a Vicious Voodoo, which is both drinks served in a divided cup with a double twisty straw. The first round will set you back $12.99, but refills in your souvineer cup are only $8.99.
My friend Sarah gifted me this bag a few years ago when I visited her then-home (she’s an Orlandoan now!) in New Orleans. You can pick one up in her Etsy Shop! She also has tons of other cute Mardi Gras themed items (and Disney, too!).
Bag: Ruth & Ann (click “Request Custom Order” and tell her you want the “Oh Darling Mouse” bag!
Sunnies: Oui Fresh
Dress: Target (old)
Beads: Caught at various Mardi Gras parades over the years.
Stock up for your own Mardi Gras party! Shop some of my favorite festive accessories below! (Using affiliate links, I will get a small commission if your purchase something when shopping through these links).
Shop the look!