How To Ride In A Mardi Gras Parade

How To Ride In A Mardi Gras Parade: Full Guide

Last Updated on April 22, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Participating in a Mardi Gras parade provides a thrilling sense of excitement as you throw beads to enthusiastic onlookers, encompassed by dynamic music and vividly embellished floats going by. It presents an unparalleled experience like no other.

When I rode on one of the parade vehicles for the first time, I felt nervous and excited because I was in the middle of this joyful celebration.

If you’ve ever wanted to be more than just someone watching the parade, I’ll tell you how to ride in a Mardi Gras parade. Read on.

How To Ride A Mardi Gras Float Parade In 5 Steps

Mardi Gras Float Parade

1. Find A Float To Ride On Or Get An Invitation

Many Mardi Gras krewes (organizations that put on parades and other events) have floats that members can ride on. 

“If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” 

Mike Ditka, American Former American Football Player

If you want to ride on a float, you must be part of a krewe or be invited by a member. Plus, you can ask if anyone you know is involved with a krewe with floats.

2. Meet The Requirements

Most krewes will have certain requirements for float riders, such as a minimum age or a membership fee. Make sure you meet these requirements before trying to join a float. 

3. Follow The Parade Rules

Each parade has its own rules and regulations, so make sure to follow them. 

For example, some parades may require participants to wear a certain type of costume or forbid the use of alcohol on the floats. 

Besides, you must avoid throwing objects; thus, you only throw beads when riding in the float parade. 

Following the parade rules will ensure the parade runs smoothly while protecting participants from potential hazards. 

Additionally, it shows respect for the parade participants and the community. Find out when the St. Patrick’s Day parade begins in Buffalo, New York here.

4. Prepare A Costume

Many floats require riders to wear costumes, so be prepared to dress up. Some krewes provide costumes for their riders, while others may require riders to provide their own. 

Therefore, it’s important to plan, as costumes require time to purchase materials and to sew or assemble the costume. And ensure that the costume is comfortable and safe to wear. 

5. Show Up On Time

Float riders must be on time to ensure they are properly placed on the float and that the parade begins on schedule. 

Plus, they can have enough time to make any last-minute preparations and get into costume. 

Arriving early also allows float riders to oversee that the float is properly decorated and all necessary materials are available. But what is prohibited in parade floats during Mardi Gras?

How Much Does It Cost To Ride In A Float On Mardi Gras?

On average, the cost of riding in a parade float will range from $375 to $1,500. 

It may include a membership fee and additional fees for costumes, throws, and refreshments. 

But it varies depending on the organization or krewe that owns and operates the float. 

“The best way to experience Mardi Gras is from the saddle of a float, where you can be a part of the carnival’s heart and soul.”

Howkapow Gift Site

The cost of riding in a Mardi Gras float varies on the size and type of float and the number of riders. 

Some krewes may offer discounts [1] for multiple riders, which could significantly reduce the cost of float riding. 

As such, to understand further, contact the krewe directly to inquire about any discounts and find out the exact cost of riding in a Mardi Gras float.

How Much Does It Cost To Be Part Of A Krewe For Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras Parade

Generally, the cost of joining a Krewe starts at around $50 to $150, depending on the level of involvement. 

This cost covers the membership dues, parade fees, and other related costs. 

At a minimum, members will need to purchase a costume, beads, and other supplies, which can add to the cost. 

But if you’re in doubt, it’s better to research [2] the different Krewes to determine the total cost of joining before committing. 

It’s especially true for larger Krewes, as they may offer discounts or other incentives to help defray the cost of joining.

7 Tips To Note For First-Time Mardi Gras Float Riders

1. Wear appropriate clothing. Mardi Gras float parades can last for hours, so it’s important to wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily and shoes to provide support and cushioning for your feet.

Also, remember that the weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and bring a raincoat or umbrella.

2. Bring snacks and plenty of water. Parades can last long, so bring snacks and drinks to keep yourself and your group hydrated and energized.

3. Beads are a staple of Mardi Gras celebrations and are typically thrown from floats to parade-goers. Make sure to bring plenty of beads to throw and catch.

4. Don’t forget to use sunscreen. The sun can be intense during Mardi Gras parades, so apply sunscreen to protect your skin.

5. Be respectful of the crowd. Remember that the people watching the parade are there to have fun, so be respectful of them and don’t throw anything that could hurt someone.

6. Always be safe. Float parades move slowly, but be aware of your surroundings and stay clear of the moving parts of the float.

7. Most importantly, have fun. The event is all about having fun, so make sure to let loose and enjoy the experience. Don’t be afraid to dance, sing, and throw beads to the crowd. 

Also Read: Why Do People Wear Masks During the Mardi Gras Season?


What is the average cost of a float parade?

The average cost of a float parade is around $30,000 to $100,000. But it varies greatly depending on the size and scope of the parade. 

Find out if the post office will open on Mardi Gras day here.

What should you wear to the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parade?

Choose bright and colorful clothing for a New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parade; think feathers, masks, beads, and glitter. 

Comfortable shoes are essential to ensure you can enjoy the festivities for the entire day. Plus, you can wear the traditional colors of Mardi Gras: purple, green, and gold. 

But what do you wear to a party with a Mardi Gras theme?

What street in New Orleans does the parade travel down?

The parade travels down St. Charles Avenue, the main thoroughfare in New Orleans. 

This street is lined with grand mansions, oak trees, and gas lamps, making it an ideal route for the colorful celebration.

Find out when the Mardi Gras parades are going to be held in Shreveport here.

Final Words

Riding in a Mardi Gras parade can be a fun and unique experience that you’ll never forget. 

It’s a great way to get in the Mardi Gras spirit, let loose, and show your support for the local community. 

Following the steps above, you can ensure your parade experience is safe, enjoyable, and memorable. 

So grab your costume, beads, and doubloons, and join the next Mardi Gras parade. 


Kimberlee Johnson
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