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The City of New Orleans

Mardi Gras

Celebrate safely with these tips.

Tips for Baby's First Mardi Gras 

  • Check the weather before going to the route at
    • Change items in your bag to include extra layers, a rain jacket/umbrella, or more sunscreen/water.
  • Bring a chair, stroller, or wagon.
    • Make sure to have a safe place to protect your child from flying throws and large crowds.
  • Find parade trackers, restrooms, first aid stations, lost child stations, and more at
  • Stay home if your baby is sick.
    • Parades aren't fun when you're not feeling well. Protect your child and others by staying home until they feel better.
  • Please be courteous to fellow parade goers and follow these regulations along the route, which are governed by City code.

Travel safely

  • Plan ahead for heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Be patient and build extra time into travel.
  • Slow down and don't drive distracted, streets are crowded with fellow parade goers.
  • Stop for people in the crosswalks and do not block crosswalks.
  • Keep bike lanes clear, don't drive or park in bike lanes
  • When passing a person bicycling, use care and provide at least 3 feet of space.
  • Check for approaching bicycle riders before opening your door.

Keep track of your group

  • Plan a meeting spot in case your group gets separated.
  • Take a "safety selfie" of your group at the beginning of the day. That way if you can't find someone, you have a photo of what they're wearing.
  • If you can't find your child, tell the nearest public safety official. There are also lost children stations along the route.

Enjoy parades safely

  • Stay behind barricades, out of the street, and listen to public safety officials.
  • Don’t cross the street between floats.
  • Don't go after beads or other throws that land near passing floats.
  • Enjoy the parade from the sidelines. Don't walk with or touch members of marching bands, dance, or walking groups.
  • “Throwbacks” -- throwing beads or other items back at riders on floats -- are not allowed. Any person who violates this provision shall be fined $250 per violation.
  • Stay clear of sanitation crews and their heavy equipment after parades.

Be aware of your surroundings 

  • Keep track of your personal belongings.
  • If you see something suspicious, say something to a public safety official.

Mardi Gras Sexual Assault Tips & Resources

If you become a victim of a violent crime in New Orleans, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

For direct access to a crime victim service provider, call:

  • 504-355-0846 (direct)
  • 504-866-9554 (24-hr hotline)

Operation Mardi Gras will be a central hub operated by the Greater New Orleans victim service providers and partners at the New Orleans Family Justice Center located at 701 Loyola Ave. The hub will be a place for any victim or survivor of a violent crime during the busiest Carnival weekends to meet directly with a service provider and get access to immediate support and resources available to them through the individual agencies.

Any person who becomes a victim of a crime should first call 9-1-1- to report the crime to police. They are then encouraged to call or visit the Operation Mardi Gras central hub to gain immediate support. Victims or survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, homicide (immediate family member), human trafficking, shooting or carjacking are encouraged to reach out for support. Providers can be reached directly by calling (504) 355-0846 or a 24-hour helpline at (504) 866-9554.    

Download a printable flyer on Operation Mardi Gras.

  •  Travel in groups to and from the parade route.
  • Make a plan to meet up if you become separated.
  • Have a ride app downloaded with your information entered before the parade in the event you need a ride back home.
  • Let someone know where you are at all times! Share your location with someone you trust will check in on you. 
  • Only drink beverages that you prepare or that you watch a bartender prepare in front of you. 
    • Don't leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from anyone. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If something feels like it is unsafe, follow your instincts.
  • Stay in well-lit areas. 
  • Report suspicious activity to a public safety official or first responder.

University Medical Center

Services offered: free forensic exams  

Phone: (504)702-3000

2000 Canal Street New Orleans, LA 70112

  • Exams can be performed up to 5 days after an incident. 
  • Filing a police report is not a requirement to get a forensic exam.

Local sexual assault hotlines

  • Louisiana SA TEXT Line: 225-351-7233
  • Louisiana SA CALL Hotline: 888-372-8995
  • Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR) Hotline: 855-435-STAR
  • New Orleans Family Justice Center: 504-866-9554

Additional Resources

The City of New Orleans provides these free resources along the route.

First Aid Stations

First aid stations are staffed by the New Orleans Health Department, Emergency Medical Services, the Medical Reserve Corps, NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps, VIGOR volunteers, and the American Red Cross. Stop by if you need medical assistance. 

On parade days, stations are open one hour before the first float of the first parade and until crowds disperse. 

Always call 9-1-1 during a medical emergency or find the nearest first responder on the route.

Uptown route

  • St. Charles Avenue & Louisiana Avenue
  • St. Charles Avenue & St. Andrew
  • St. Charles Avenue & Howard (Harmony Circle)
  • St. Charles Avenue & Canal Street

Endymion route

Additions for Endymion ONLY

  • N. Hennessey & Orleans
  • N. Broad St. & Canal St.


Sober Safe Spot

Avenues Recovery Sober Safe Spots are back!

Celebrate the joy and culture of Mardi Gras while staying committed to sobriety. The brainchild of Avenues Recovery alumni,  Sober Safe Spot is a place to fully join in the revelry of Mardi Gras in a warm and welcoming atmosphere with like- minded members of the recovery community, their families,  and friends. 

The sober safe spot is strategically placed along the parade route in New Orleans and in Metairie from Feb. 3 through Feb. 13. Everyone in or supporting recovery is welcome. 

Look for the white flag with the following logo near Napoleon Ave & St Charles Ave.

For more information, visit:

Lost Children Stations

Lost children stations are staffed by the New Orleans Police Department. Because most families are quickly reunited near the area they were separated, tell the nearest public safety official if you can't find your child.

On parade days, stations are open one hour before the first float of the first parade and until crowds disperse. 

  • St. Charles Avenue & Napoleon Avenue
  • St. Charles Avenue & Jackson Avenue
  • Canal Street & Baronne St.

NOPD will also distribute free, resuable identification bracelets to families at these locations.  If the child is lost for any reason, law enforcement officers can immediately contact parents with the information on the bracelet.


24/7 Sobering Center

Located at 732 North Claiborne Ave and operated by Odyssey House of Louisiana, the Sobering Center is a 25-bed facility open 24/7/365.

The Sobering Center is a public health and safety endeavor to allow intoxicated individuals to voluntarily recover from immediate acute alcohol impairment under the care of trained staff.   Sobering Center staff will monitor individuals at the facility and provide opportunities to those interested in accessing higher levels of care such as medically assisted detox or substance use treatment. 

Transportation to and from the Sobering Center is available by call the Outreach van at 504-439-5941.

Admission Criteria:

  • Conscious and Ambulatory (individual can walk or be assisted in walking through the door)
  • Non-combative
  • 18 Years Old or Older
  • Impaired from Alcohol


Free Behavioral Health Crisis Intervention

RHD’s New Orleans Mobile Crisis Intervention Unit (MCIU) is integrated with the 911 system to provide a rapid, mobile response for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The Mobile Crisis Intervention Unit will accept calls and be available to intervene 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.