St. Tammany Parish is the perfect place for family fun this Mardi Gras! Pack up the kids and head to the Northshore for dog parades, boat parades, and more.
Tired of fighting college students and out-of-towners for Mardi Gras beads? Looking for a Carnival experience that’s more family-friendly than the notorious French Quarter? Just 45 minutes north of New Orleans, St. Tammany Parish is the perfect place for you! Discover all that the Northshore has to offer this Mardi Gras season.
Beaucoup Boat Parades
Whether you’re a sailing enthusiast or looking for a style of parade the city just can’t offer, check out St. Tammany Parish’s top two boat parades. Krewe of Bilge rolls—or rather, floats—on January 27 at 11 a.m., starting at Phil’s Marina Cafe in Slidell–right off the Twin Span. Grab po’boys to go, head to your spot on the route, and get ready to yell, “Throw me something, mister!” If you’re closer to the Madisonville area–not too far from the Causeway–check out Krewe of Tchefuncte on February 3 at 1 p.m. This parade starts at Salty’s Marina and is preceded by a traditional land parade, King Neptune’s Marching Society, along nearby Water Street. Catch both of them for a full day of Mardi Gras fun!
Party with Pups
If your day of family fun just wouldn’t be complete without your furry best friend, the Northshore’s pup parades are your ideal Carnival destination. Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on February 3 in historic Olde Towne Slidell. If you’re looking to extend your Mardi Gras celebrations after Fat Tuesday, Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws begins at 2 p.m. on February 18 and runs along the Mandeville lakefront. Whether your family wants to sign up and walk in the parade, or just watch the adorable dogs stroll by, dress up the family pooch and head to St. Tammany Parish!
Offbeat & Eccentric Krewes
It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without a little something unpredictable to keep the merriment going strong. You can get your fill of frights at the Krewe of Poseidon on Saturday, January 27 at 6 p.m. in Slidell with an array of monsters and ghouls on double-decker floats. Or, catch some laughs from the one-of-a-kind homemade lawn mower floats during the Krewe of Push Mow on Saturday, February 3 at 11:00 a.m in Abita Springs. If you’re looking for a little mystery, then look no further than St. Tammany’s oldest parade, the Krewe of Olympia in Covington, led by the infamous King Zeus, whose identity remains a secret. Rolling at 5 p.m. on February 3, the kids will love the light-up throws and a special appearance by the regal Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
Fat Tuesday Family Fun
Don’t deal with the traffic and hassle of downtown New Orleans this Fat Tuesday. Instead, spend the day with family-friendly parades rolling all day in Covington. Starting at 10 a.m. on February 13, you can enjoy four unique parades, followed by an after-party celebration at the Tammany Trace trailhead. Enjoy live entertainment, music, food, and tons of fun goodies for the little ones.
Explore the Northshore
While parades might be the main activities during Mardi Gras, they’re by no means the only activities. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of swamp tour options, as well as wildlife refuges and nature trails to hike. Prefer indoor fun? Families can choose from a wide variety of engaging museums, or visit the kids’ favorite, Candy Bank. Restaurants are packed with local seafood, and accommodations are much more affordable than in New Orleans.
For an unforgettable Carnival filled with family fun, share this article and travel to St. Tammany today! http://www.louisiananorthshore.com
Photo Credit: Bill Lang