It’s Carnival time!!!
Without a doubt, one of the most fun and festive traditions celebrated across Louisiana all year. If you are looking for the perfect family-friendly Mardi Gras experience, look no further than Houma, Louisiana. Just an easy one hour drive from New Orleans, Houma is a full Mardi Gras experience suited for all ages.
The Houma Mardi Gras parade schedule begins on February 10, 2023 with a total of 10 parades rolling over a 2-week span. The westside parade route begins at Southland Mall and ends at the Houma Civic Center. Over the two weeks preceding Mardi Gras, many other smaller Krewes also roll in neighboring bayou communities. If you arrive to the route early enough, you may find an area to back your vehicle up right to the street to catch the parade. Bring your tailgate chairs and set up the perfect spot to take in the pre-parade sights and sounds. The parade route is lined with ample parking and easy access on and off the route and port-a-potties are never far away. Parades held during the day on the two Sundays preceding Mardi Gras, as well as on Mardi Gras day, are ideal for family viewing due to easy visibility of the massive amount of throws (bring your wagons and bags) your children will catch. Nighttime parades are also a feast for the senses with lighted floats, and many glow-in-the-dark throws. As the parade rolls by, you are in for a treat as you take in the brightly colored hand-painted floats, and the themed costumes riders wear, feel the excitement as local school bands serenade the crowd, and enjoy other performing groups scattered throughout the parade.
Before staking out your spot, be sure to stop by one of the many businesses along or nearby the route to secure your parade provisions. Start your day with a Boudin King Cake from Cajun Meat Market (order in advance) or a Donut King Cake from Mr. Ronnie’s Famous Hot Donuts. Unlike the ladders of New Orleans, the parade route is also lined with many privately owned flatbed trailers on which many families and corporate groups view parades. Many spectators arrive early to cook or barbeque before the arrival of the floats. For easy grab-and-go food options close to or on the parade route, consider one of the many local restaurants that offer parade day options or the wide array of fast-food chains that line the parade route or pre-prepared catered items from Rouse’s or Cannata’s which can be picked up on parade day or ordered in advance. For the adults, be sure to check the excellent selection of spirits at Cannata’s or drive through one of the several daiquiri shops along the parade route. Don’t pass up a delicious Gooey Butter Snickerdoodle king cake from Cannata’s market or the Mambo King Cake from Bertinot’s Best Bakery.
For a more traditional carnival experience, park along the street in Downtown Houma and walk to the Court Square where you can view the Royal Court toasts their reign at the City Hall reviewing stand. Downtown you will also find several local restaurants and bars offering food and beverage for sale to satisfy anyone’s taste as you view the parade. While New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras, you really won’t find a safer, family-friendly, easily accessible, and fun carnival experience than you will experience in Houma, Louisiana. Come join the fun!
Jennifer is a mom to three fun kiddos and native of Houma, Louisiana. After spending over ten years residing in Baton Rouge, she and her husband decided it was time to return to their bayou roots to raise their family. Over the past five years, Jennifer and her family have learned to love living closer to family and enjoy all the cultural fun that Houma and the surrounding areas have to offer. Jennifer and her family enjoy being out on the local waterway, taking in local festivals and of course enjoying the Mardi Gras season. You can catch Jennifer riding with the ladies of the Krewe of Hyacinthians.