When people think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, they commonly think of a wild party where anything goes. While this is true, there are a few things that will quickly get you on the wrong side of the law and you do not want to wind up spending the night in New Orleans Central Lockup. By all accounts, it is a terrible experience and you likely won’t wind up writing a song equal to “Mr. Bojangles” so follow these four tips for staying out of jail during New Orleans Mardi Gras.
Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day
Benny Grunch said it best when he said, “there ain’t no place to pee on Mardi Gras Day.” Just because it can be hard to find a public restroom during Carnival, does not mean that it is okay to urinate in public. That’s gross, rude, vile, and illegal. You wouldn’t pee in public in your hometown so try to avoid doing so in New Orleans. The locals and the police frown upon it and many people have learned this the hard way. Read this article I wrote about essential Mardi Gras apps to find the tech-savvy way to locate public restrooms during Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Only Amateurs Flash
Rookies seem to think that Mardi Gras is all about flashing but any local or Mardi Gras veteran will tell you that this is not the case. Flashing for beads makes you look like a Carnival amateur. Why would you flash for Chinese-made Mardi Gras beads when they’re being tossed about for free? The police generally look the other way when women flash, especially since the logistics of getting to balconies can prove difficult, but save your pride and have some class, ladies. As for the gents, please keep it to yourself; the police are not very fond of your flashing and they WILL arrest you.
Drugs Are Bad, Mmm’kay?
Louisiana is not one of the states with legalized marijuana so don’t think you can go all Willie Nelson on the streets of New Orleans, even during Mardi Gras. The Super Bowl is the only kind of bowl allowed by law in the Big Easy so don’t push your limits. I don’t care what your crazy fraternity boy cousin told you about his wild Mardi Gras trip in college. He is misleading you. There is plenty of legal debauchery to be found so stay on the right side of the law and keep yourself drug-free during New Orleans Mardi Gras. I dare you.
Respect the 5-0 in the 504
Police in New Orleans have seen it all. They are not amused by your antics. Mind your own business and keep your hands and comments to yourself when you see the New Orleans Police Department. These men and women work excruciating, long hours during Carnival and do not need your shenanigans distracting them from crowd control and protecting the peace. If you see them on horses, do not touch the horse or else you could be charged with assaulting an officer.
More from this contributor:
Mardi Gras Defined: The 12 Terms You Should Learn Before Heading to New Orleans
The 25 Essential Mardi Gras Songs: The Soundtrack to New Orleans Carnival
Down Louisiana Way: A Playlist of Songs About Louisiana