Mardi Gras is a grand and celebratory holiday filled with parades, live music, picnics, and so much more. From the crazy costumes to the colorful floats, locals and tourists alike can find something to enjoy with the historic holiday. If you plan on participating in any Mardi Gras festivities, it is important to keep yourself safe. Making a note of these safety elements can help you have an enjoyable and safe holiday.
If you plan on driving, it is always best to plan your route to and from the festivities. Leave early, prepare alternative routes, and make sure to account for road closures, parade routes, and other changes in the normal course of traffic. Drive carefully near the parades and watch out for pedestrians who may not be adhering to normal pedestrian laws. If you plan to drive, be cautious of inebriated pedestrians and children who are enjoying the activities.
During Mardi Gras season, your unoccupied home and parked automobiles can become tempting targets for burglars. Take security into your own hands regarding your personal property by locking doors, windows, and checking any existing security systems you may have. Inform your neighbors if you are planning to be away from home, and request that they report any suspicious activity to the police while you are gone. If you are leaving your car unattended somewhere, it is important to hide any purses, wallets, or other valuables from plain sight.
Be alert to any trinkets or beads being thrown during the events you may attend. If you are going to a parade during the day, it may be beneficial to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun, and from any thrown objects. Celebrating Mardi Gras with children also means that you have to be conscious of what they are holding. Keep beads, small trinkets, and plastic bags out of the reach of children unless they are under direct observation. Otherwise they could be at an increased risk for choking or suffocating.
Although it may seem tempting, there are certain things you should know about engaging with horses, floats, vehicles, and bands that are participating in the Mardi Gras parades. Refrain from hanging off of floats or vehicles and do not approach the horses within the parade unless the rider indicates that it is okay. Be aware of your surroundings and respect the directions you are given from official personnel. A parade is only fun when it can proceed, so do not encourage the crowd to run alongside the floats or stop any of the progression.
Mardi Gras can be an exciting time if you do it safely. Remember that piggybacking can be dangerous. There will be large crowds and groups at the parades, bars, and other locations, so have a plan if you are ever to be separated or injured. If you plan to drink, make sure to have precautions surrounding your safety, including transport. Be aware of your environment and keep track of your bags, wallets, and phones.
If you plan on bringing children to Mardi Gras, make sure to inform them of what the event is, and how they can be safe during the festivities. It is important to never leave children unattended. With the large groups that will be present, it is always a good idea to plan a meeting place in case anyone within the group gets lost. Write your name and number on a piece of paper you give to your child so that you can be contacted if your child is lost. There will be lost child stations at major locations, so consult the police in these locations if you lose your child.
The extravaganza of Mardi Gras is enjoyed by thousands every year and should be remembered as a fun celebration without injury or safety concerns. Being aware of potential problems or difficulties can help you avoid them. Above all, respect for those involved in the parades, and listening to the officials that are working can help keep the holiday fun and safe. Visit Metro Safety’s site if you have any questions about the existing laws or other safety tips to ensure a memorable Mardi Gras.