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Tips for a Safe Mardi Gras By Jamila Cherif

If you plan on enjoying this Carnival season, you’ll want to take into consideration these safety tips. It’s only natural to want to have fun, but keep in mind how large of a celebration Mardi Gras really is. The Crescent City will be packed with thousands more people than usual, all of which are there to have fun as well. Just remember, be aware of your surroundings even if you’re from here. Keep an eye on friends who are drinking. If you arrive together, you should leave together.

For the next tip, one of the best ways to steer clear of danger is to avoid getting overly drunk. Yes, consumption of alcohol on public property is allowed as long as it’s in a can, plastic bottle, or a plastic cup. Remember, you can’t drink from any glass containers while on public property. And absolutely don’t drink and drive!
While the parade is in progress, don’t chase floats for trinkets. Besides the risk of getting run over by a float, the police may get involved and arrest you. And if you get arrested during Mardi Gras, expect to be in a holding cell until Ash Wednesday. These guys are overworked during Mardi Gras season, so stay on their good side.

If you plan on bringing your family, expect parades to be packed and children to tire from all of the walking. Many parents put children on their shoulders, making it easy for them to catch throws, and you won’t run the risk of losing them in the madness. Another practical option for parents that will guarantee a good view for their children is a ladder seat. Word to the wise, according to mardigrasneworleans.com, ‘‘It has to be at least six feet from the curb in the event that the ladder is knocked over.”

Last but not least, theft is a very real threat during Mardi Gras, so dress simple and leave the
rocks at home. Come without anything that screams, “Hey mister, rob me!” So, avoid carrying a purse, devices like electronic tablets and don’t walk around with your smartphone out texting. And if you are going to the French Quarter, especially at night, be prepared to deal with crowds. Hide your wallet and be vigilant about being alert! Have a great Mardi Gras and Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

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