Mardi Gras 2017 falls on Tuesday, February 28. So, bosses, if your employees aren’t at work on Wednesday, March 1, you’ll know why.
The most popular time to visit New Orleans is the long weekend before Mardi Grad (February 24-28) and into the wild celebration that is Mardi Gras. This way, you catch the best parades (Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, Rex) and all of the festive blow-outs across the city while getting a leg up on the drinking competition.
Mardi Gras (otherwise known as Fat Tuesday) is the last day of the Carnival season and always comes the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent (convenient timing).
When Is Mardi Gras 2017?
- Mardi Gras 2017 is on Tuesday, February 28
Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
Uptown New Orleans
- Krewe of Zulu (8:00 A.M. EST)
- Krewe of Rex (10:00 A.M. EST)
- Krewe of Elks Orleans (Follows)
- Krewe of Crescent City (Follows)
- Krewe of Argus (10:00 A.M. EST)
- Krewe of Elks Jefferson (Follows)
- Krewe of Jefferson (Follows)
- Krewe of Lyra (10:00 A.M. EST)
Mardi Gras History
Mardi Gras can trace its origins back to medieval Europe, from Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. In France, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras” made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to the colonies.
On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptise Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville landed roughly 60 miles south of New Orleans. He named the area “Pointe du Mardi Gras” after his crew realized it was the eve of the holiday. Bienville soon established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane” in 1702. A year later, the small settlement celebrated America’s first Mardi Gras.
But Bienville wasn’t done laying the ground work of American history quite yet. In 1718, he established New Orleans. Within 12 years, Mardi Gras was openly celebrated in the streets where it still is today. Of course, it took a few decades for the holiday to begin resembling the parade-heavy drinking fest that it is now, but we’re thankful for the transition.