Mardi Gras is officially here and I have some great tips for families visiting the Big Easy. For Mardi Gras Family Fun I spoke with my friend Maude DeGrasse who is a New Orleans native, or as she calls it “Naturally Nawlins”, currently living in Atlanta. She and her husband has been happily married for 17 years and together they raise 6 beautiful children. They return home to New Orleans as often as possible and every year for Mardi Gras. So when I thought about creating a Mardi Gras Family Guide naturally I reached out to Maude.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for 17 Happy Years. I am a mother of 6 kids. 5 girls 21,15,13,11 and 7 and 1 boy that’s 8yrs.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. So I am Naturally Nawlins.
When did you relocated?
I moved here to Atlanta 2 years after Hurricane Katrina – Katrina was in 2005 so I moved here in 2007.
How often do you return to New Orleans?
Returning to New Orleans, or the N.O. as we call it, is never an issue. I go home as often as possible. I gotta get my food and spices.
What keeps you going back to New Orleans?
Mardi Gras, I think I can honestly say coming from a true “N.O.” person, is OUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY!
What do you and your family do during Mardi Gras weekend?
Well normally we try to be home in New Orleans on Friday before Mardi Gras for the “Zulu Ball“. On Saturday there is the biggest Westbank Parade Nomtoc and then on Eastbank downtown there is Endymion Parade. This is the biggest, prettiest nighttime parade during Mardi Gras. A must see for anyone wanting to go to Mardi Gras! Sunday there are several day parades and one night parade Bacchus. Lundi Gras is Monday everyone is getting ready for “THE BIG DAY on TUESDAY/FAT TUESDAY/MARDI GRAS”! Then at 12 midnight Tuesday it’s OVER – Lent starts! All parades and festivities are enjoyed with family, friends, and strangers.
Do you take the entire family for Mardi Gras?
I take ALL the kids in my house and sometimes their friends.
What are some of the foods to cook during Mardi Gras?
Red Beans & Rice, Yakamein, Jambalaya & anything fattening because once Wednesday gets here – NO MORE for 40 days (LENT).
What are your family’s favorite Mardi Gras traditions?
EAT EAT & EAT anywhere you can.
What neighborhoods would you recommend families stay in when visiting for Mardi Gras ?
Remember New Orleans is small so anywhere you stay is good. They are all within a 15 minute drive and when I say 15minutes it’s literally 15 maybe 20 depending on parade traffic. Slidell, New Orleans East, Metairie, Kenner, or the Westbank are great areas to stay.
Whats the best way to get around town, taxi, bus, rental car?
To get around town during Mardi Gras (if you are downtown area) – WALK EVERYWHERE – cars can’t get through parades unless you are an emergency vehicle, busses – too big, taxi -yea right (NO RESPECT)
What good local restaurants would you recommend?
Any parks or festivals for families to enjoy during Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras is ALL the FUN there is in the city during this time of year.
**Please Note – that when trying to figure out when Mardi Gras is any year – look for Ash Wednesday on calender it’s always the day before**
Maude DeGrasse is a certified Extreme Couponer and offers couponing workshops for all levels. Check out her Facebook group Couponing Fun.