Friday, March 8, 2019

Endymion Parade & Ball 2019

This last week has been spent recovering from the whirl wind that was last weekend. The minute the Power of Breath Fashion Luncheon was over, I hopped in my car and raced through Atlanta traffic to make my way to the airport. A few friends and my husband were already at my destination - New Orleans for Mardis Gras.

We were invited in the Fall to partake in some Mardis Gras festivities with some friends of ours who live just north of the city. They planned an amazing weekend for us, and being a Mardis Gras virgin I couldn't wait to check it all out!

The biggest event of the weekend was Endymion. My husband was invited to be on one of the floats during the parade, and afterwards we were to meet them post parade at the Endymion Ball. We later learned this was one (if not the) biggest parade and ball of Mardis Gras.

So to say I was excited would be the understatement of 2019. Hearing about all the rules, the events and concerts that occur during the ball, and getting to just see the "extra" that is Mardis Gras all wrapped up into a fancy formal wear package - I was so in!

Here's a quick recap of the weekend, but let me just say if we ever got the chance to do this a heart beat. It was that fun!


After a long afternoon filled with traffic, weather delays, and unexpected plane changes, I finally met up with the hubby and the rest of the crew. They were on Bourbon Street. 

Our friends reserved us a rooftop, balcony spot on bourbon street with a private room. We had unlimited food and drinks. And all the bead throwing we could handle. 

I saw way more parts of people than I wanted to see. 

We walked Bourbon Street and danced at a few bars, but called it an "early" night so we could save up our energy for the next night. I was in bed by 2:30a.m. CST. 

The next morning we met our friends for breakfast. In fact, this breakfast place was the only restaurant I ate at the entire trip. I ate there twice. And I'm not mad about it. If I could recreate this meal and bring it home I would. So so good. 

The boys had to head out to the parade festivities around lunch time. Once they checked in and got settled we were sent pics of them in their costumes. I died. 

Side note: We learned that during the parade you cannot remove your mask. The fine for removal is $250. There are people in the crowd specifically there to watch you to make sure you wear it and apparently mark your position and can ticket you via mail. My husband said one guy removed it while on the float and the reaction he received wasn't pretty. 

The ladies lounged until around 2p.m. and then it was time to get ready for the ball. My friend Natalie set up hair and make up. It was such a treat!  

And trust me when I say she was a miracle worker.

I'm not even sure I looked this good on my wedding day. She made everyone look beautiful! 

I loved everyone's dresses. I debated between a black lace gown and this sparkly number. After attending the ball, I realized the sparkly the better. 

The Endymion Parade ends in the SuperDome which hosts the Endymion Ball. We had club level tickets that gave us access to a table, a live band and dance floor, and unlimited drinks and food.  

During the parade we had to stay on our level. Afterwards we could rome where we pleased. We loved our view though! 

We sat on the front row and had an unobstructed view of the parade. 

The parade started entering the stadium around 8:00p.m., and lasted for about three hours. We were told it normally is a little shorter, but one of the floats hit a power line along the route and it stopped the flow of the parade for about 30 mins. 

The grand marshal of the parade this year was Flo Rida. 

He's the guy on the front of the float in orange. 

Seeing the parade in the stadium was really neat. Mr. Cute has a completely different perspective of the parade from being on the float and both were amazing experiences. 

His float was number 34 out of 37 so it was almost 11:00p.m. by the time he arrived. He is the polar bear on the top front of this float. 

We danced in our seats. Had a few cocktails. And generally had an awesome time. The band playing was amazing and sang any and every kind of song. I loved it! 

Once the parade element of our crew showed up, the fun cranked up a bit. Mr. Cute saved me this rose from his float. 

We let the guys eat and then it was time to dance and enjoy the concerts. 

We walked on the floor to check things out and see the first concert. Lionel Richie was up. 

After Lionel was Chicago. Half our crew was excited about them, but to be honest I was ready to DANCE and was waiting until Flo Rida. 

The live band in our ticketed section was amazing so I kept bouncing back and forth between the concert and the band. 

By 2a.m. I put my phone away for good. 

But trust me when I say it was a good time. 

The next day we ate a late breakfast and made our way to the airport. I was in New Orleans for less than 48 hours total and saw two completely different ways to Mardi Gras. It was so. much. fun. I would do it again in a heart beat. I'm already trying to convince Carrie Beth she and her hubby need to do this with us next year!

Tips & Tricks for Navigating Mardis Gras as a Newbie

Okay, so through the blur of the weekend I realized there were a few things that separated the veteran Mardis Gras attendees from the newbies. Here's a few tips I wish I would have known or thought of before I went...

  1. Wear Closed Toed Shoes - Bourbon Street is wet. Even when it hasn't rained. Wrap your mind around that. Our friends said, "Watch out for the party juice in the streets." I get it now. I saw pee. I saw throw up. I saw spilled drinks. I saw trash and beads and more trash. The ground was beyond gross. And I wore flip flops. Tory Burch flip flops. May they rest in peace. By the end of the night I was praying all my inoculations were up to date, and my feet were something out of a horror movie. If I could do it all over again I would wear rain boots. Or Muck boots. Rubber, easy to sanitize, and - most importantly - protects you from splashing.
  2.  Glitter Sneakers Rule - Laugh all you want, but glitter sneakers were where it was at. I wore heels to the ball. I'm also a newbie. Veterans wore glitter sneakers or flat sparkly flip flops. (Reference point number one though. Even if its a formal ball some of the description still carries over.)
  3. Check Street Closures - Downtown New Orleans during the month of Mardis Gras is crazy. Locals knew the streets would be closed at certain times. Tourists and many Uber drivers...not so much. Sometimes getting to somewhere was easy, but getting back wasn't. Pack shoes for walking.
  4. Leave Monday - If partaking in the Endymion festivities and you're from out of town, I would highly suggest leaving Monday and not the next day. We were told this by our friends and didn't heed the advice. The ball ends at 3:30a.m. Factor in taxi chaos you get home late. Even though we flew out mid-afternoon I would say I slept maybe six hours across two days. I could have used a day to sleep and carb recover.
There was a theme to these tips, but you get the idea. Pack comfortable footwear. I saw plenty of cute yet comfy options. But basically dust off that old beadazzeler on the oldest pair of tennis shoes you own, and be prepared to leave them behind with your Mardis Gras hangover, the 7,849 beads you accumulated over the weekend, and the images of things (read body parts) you didn't want to see in the first place. 

Come spend the day with us on:
Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter |

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...