Mardi Gras is a time to party and have fun, and if you are from Louisiana you probably have your own survival guide of items you take with you to every parade.

The first Lafayette parade will be held on Friday, February 2 as the Krewe Des Canailles will be walking the streets of Downtown Lafayette. Other parades in the surrounding areas will precede our Mardi Gras parades, and New Orleans has parades from now through Fat Tuesday.

If you have grown up in this area you probably have certain items you take with you to every parade to make life a little bit easier and maybe cleaner. The items we are writing about might already be on your list, but if not, here are some thoughts.

Often, plenty of us will just get food, water, and whatever else we need on the parade route, but that can be pretty pricey so planning ahead can save you money. Hey, we also want to know what are your top 3 things you bring on the parade route to survive?

Tamara Bellis, kGvBLcBGZpI, Unsplash

The Bag(s)

If you have children then you likely end up carrying a backpack with you so you can hold all the stuff the kids may need while you are waiting for the parade.

You can have bottled water, plastic bags for your kids to hold their beads, and other creature comforts for the parade route.

Plus, it's easier to carry a backpack than a handbag and you have plenty of space to hold whatever you need.

Woman in Sunglasses
Photo courtesy of Atikh Bana via

Cheap Sunglasses (Not Just a ZZ Top Song, But a Practicality)

I know you want to look good, but please think about buying a cheap pair of sunglasses for Mardi Gras.

A pair of sunglasses is always a great idea for a daytime parade, but don't bring your nice ones. They are going to get knocked off your head, or they will fall off when you jump for that truly impressive bead.

Do what ZZ Top would do. "Get yourself a pair of cheap sunglasses"....

Woman with Grossed Out Face
Photo courtesy of Ospan Ali i,y1Q7i3faI, Unsplash

Hand Sanitizer

I have no doubt that every single one of us has made a face like the woman above regarding "something" we have encountered at Mardi Gras! And, that's why you need hand sanitizer!

Finding a place to clean your hands can be difficult on any parade route, and if you find a Port-a-Potty there is no guarantee that they will have portable hand washing stations.

Make sure you bring plenty of hand sanitizer because once you smell all the great food people are cooking along the parade route you are going to want to partake in the delicious delights.

Plus, your kids don't care what they touch so before you let them handle the cotton candy that is always for sale a good skirt of hand sanitizer can save your family misery later in the form of some illness.

Kids in Folding Chairs
Photo courtesy of Max Goncharov, E77RZ6HJ0i8, via Unsplash


If you don't want to have to sit on a curb or on the street waiting for the parade you might consider bringing some bag chairs.

The great thing is that most of them have that strap that you can sling cross your back and they are made of such light material these days, it makes it a convenient way to relax while waiting for the action.

Plenty of people also use their chairs to make a partition around the area where they will stand and sit so no one creeps in on "your territory".

Toilet Paper
Bruce Mikels

List of Bathroom Spots

Depending on where you decide to park yourself for parades bathroom opportunities may be limited.

Most businesses on the parade route don't allow people to use the restrooms at their store unless you are specifically a customer, and they watch this stuff.

It's not a bad idea to make your list of business-friendly restroom spots, public restroom areas, and areas designated with Port-A-Pottys.

Empty Toilet Paper Roll with Don't Panic
Photo courtesy of Jas Min, egqR_zUd4NI, via Unsplash

Toilet Paper

You might laugh at this suggestion but how many times have you gone into a portable bathroom to find there is no toilet paper?

You may not think it's a big deal for you, but it sure might be a problem if you have a child with you.

Just for fun, put a roll of toilet paper in your bag so you don't have to drip dry!

Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette
Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette, Facebook

Le Festival De Mardi Gras a Lafayette

I enjoy walking the parade route all up and down. You get to encounter people you maybe haven't seen in years. In order to have the freedom to do that, I like to park at Le Festival De Mardi Gras a Lafayette at Cajun Field.

You have access to everything you need! Food, water, alcoholic beverages, games, great rides, and music.

Sure, you have to pay a little bit for parking, but you know all the parades come right to the area where you are, you can walk the parade route, and you can do all the fun stuff at Cajun Field between the parades.

Kid in Wagon
Photo courtesy of Blake Meyer, V2uUAyCOru4, Unsplash

Wagon for the Kids (or Drunk friends?)

A wagon is not a bad idea if you have little kids. Make sure you get one that's collapsible and easy to pull around or you'll pull your back out!

A wagon is a great way to lug around your little kids when they have had enough of standing and walking.

A bonus? You can carry all your beads, stuffed animals, and other throws in the wagon on your way to your car.

Now, if your friend gets inebriated, you can always drag him in the wagon to your car and safely drive him home!

Man Charging Phone with Portable Charger
Photo courtesy of Screen Post, svsKYetYPUI, via Unsplash

Portable Charger for Your Phone

Probably another good idea to be able to survive all the Mardi Gras festivities is a portable charger.

The last thing you want to have to worry about is a low battery on your phone when you are trying to take a great picture of something.

Throw a portable charger in your bag so you don't miss the great shots.

These are just some of the things we could think of, but you must have your own "must-haves" for Mardi Gras; tell us in the comments!

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