The time is almost upon us for residents of Louisiana to take to the streets in celebration of Mardi Gras, an iconic Carnival celebration ushering in the beginning of the Lenten season. While Mardi Gras is a time for celebration, however, there still are important laws to consider when planning for the festival to ensure a safe and successful Carnival. We have highlighted the most important laws here.
While out on the streets, there are a few actions that are specifically prohibited by local officials. Open containers of glass or metal are not allowed anywhere during Mardi Gras celebrations. During the parade, public laws prohibit the spraying of Silly String or throwing objects into the parade route. Additionally, animals are not allowed within 150 feet of the parade route in compliance with local ordinances. If you are planning on using a heating or cooking device, these cannot be used lawfully on public rights-of-ways. Any use of skates, bicycles, or other wheeled vehicles within 50 feet of the parade route is prohibited in Jefferson Parish.
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When arriving by car to Mardi Gras, make sure to follow all Special Event parking signs and directions from local officials. All normal parking regulations apply in this instance. Along the parade route, it is unlawful to park within the first 15 feet of curb, though this distance may fluctuate due to local sign postage. Spectators are expected to not throw anything into the parade, and are expected to observe all laws concerning indecent exposure and the prohibition of climbing trees.
When at the parade, it is important to follow safety guidelines regarding ladders and structures used to view the parade. Chain ladders should not be fastened to any public property, including light standards and utility poles. Additionally, ladders, chairs, or any other large object should not be placed in dangerous areas such as intersections or between curbs. If you plan on using a ladder, it should be set up at least as far away from the curb as the height of the ladder. For the construction of any stands or structures, these must be in compliance with local regulations. In New Orleans, stands and structures must be authorized by the city Director of Safety & Permits.
Mardi Gras is a timeless celebration that is part of what makes Louisiana such a remarkable community. The key to a memorable and successful Mardi Gras is to follow local laws and directions from local officials. Visit Metro Safety’s site for a full list of Mardi Gras laws, as well as some helpful safety tips.