The Best Reasons to Buy Mardi Gras Grandstand Tickets
One of the most iconic sights of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the vision of literally dozens of floats populated by hundreds of riders, ‘rolling' down St Charles Avenue from the leafy avenues of Uptown and the Garden District to the brick alleyways of the Central Business District.
The riders on these floats, costumed and masked from the thousands of spectators who crowd the parade route, are laden with bags of ‘throws' - beads, baubles, blinkies, stuffed animals, flashy neon lights, fake swords and staves, and sometimes, handcrafted pieces of art like the famous Muses shoe. These throws are doled out to the crowds who line the route, who stand and cheer for hours on end while waiting for their chance at carnival victory (as embodied by, say, a plush pink dragon for the kids).
Does all of that sound fun? It can be. But if you're looking to enjoy the above without standing on your feet for the greater chunk of an evening, consider reserving a spot in the famous grandstands that are positioned along the route. You can do so by purchasing a grandstand spot with New Orleans Parade Tickets.
Now, to be fair, there is a way of reserving with New Orleans Parade Tickets and still having to stand. There are three locations for grandstand participants. First, you've got Place St. Charles, which is perfectly perched on St. Charles Avenue near Canal Street. Then, there's the Lafayette Hotel grandstand, located on the opposite side of St. Charles Avenue, between Lee Circle and Poydras Street and directly adjacent to Lafayette Square.
The above two spots have seating, but the 919 St. Charles zone is standing only. This area is ideally located along the parade route on St. Charles Avenue, near Lee Circle. Many of the floats that roll during the parades slow down in this area as they transition into the Warehouse District, and as such, you've got a great chance of scoring some choice throws.
With all of that said, you've got a good chance of getting good throws at any of the seated grandstands as well. When you're sitting in the grandstand bleachers, you're positioned at more of an equal eye level with float riders. When you're in that enviable spot, there's a chance you'll make the right eye contact, which can lead to a generous throw from the parading krewe members.
The cost of reserving a space with New Orleans Parade Tickets will run you $10-65 depending on the parade in question. If you're in town for a long while, you can always book different spots amidst the grandstands, thus gaining a different vantage point for a new parade. You may want to especially consider these tickets if you're in a group that includes older or younger spectators - the ability to take a load off after standing and cheering for throws will feel heaven sent. Before the parade, grab a bite to eat at a neighboring restaurant. And, after the floats roll through, keep the party going by catching a show at a nearby live music venue.