Mardi Gras Parade 2018: Dates & Full Schedule

The Christmas season is finally over and Lententide is coming sooner than you think! Before that happens, however, there is still one day of frivolity and decadence to look forward to before getting ashes: Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras!

You don’t have to be in New Orleans to celebrate the holiday, but it sure helps, especially if you want to see the parade or get some free beads. In fact, down in New Orleans, there are even going to be paraded in the days leading up to the big day!

When Is Mardi Gras 2018?

This year, Mardi Gras is on a Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

Wednesday, February 7

Uptown New Orleans

Thursday, February 8

Uptown New Orleans

Friday, February 9

French Quarter

Uptown New Orleans




Saturday, February 10


Uptown New Orleans



Sunday, February 11

Uptown New Orleans


Monday, February 12

Uptown New Orleans

Tuesday, February 13

Uptown New Orleans



Mardi Gras History

Mardis Gras is a variation of Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, starting the Lenten season. As people traditionally give up an “indulgence,” a harmless thing they enjoy, like a certain food or drink, for Lent, Fat Tuesday is often used as an excuse to indulge in whatever you give up while you still can. Hence the parades and costumes and all that jazz, as such! It’s the last chance to have fun before midnight!

The New Orleans Mardis Gras celebration, if the name isn’t enough of a clue, has its origins with the French-Canadians. When explorer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, the “Father of New Orleans,” came to the area, he even gave it the name “Pointe du Mardi Gras” after his crew realized the holiday was coming up. In time, the holiday became a staple in the area after he founded New Orleans in 1718.

And in case you didn’t know, Mardi Gras is just French for Fat Tuesday. It’s kind of why I switch back and forth using both names.

The festival’s official website also gives the following advice:

“The most popular time to visit New Orleans is the extended weekend before Mardi Gras (February 9- 13). Come then and you’ll be sure to catch the most popular parades, like Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, Rex and all of the festive celebrations throughout the whole city.”

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