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As the rest of the world recovers from the holidays and settles in for the rest of winter here in New Orleans we gear up for Mardi Gras. I am headed into my 3rd year as a sober Carnival mom. Adjusting to this massive party without the “help” of booze has sometimes been uncomfortable and even a bit scary but at the end of the day so worth it.  I get to witness to my son’s joy and wonder and be a present participant in it. I have traded time looking for bathrooms and cocktails for making snacks and holding ladders. Whether you are someone in recovery (like me) or a parent who just wants to do things a different way I hope these tips will help you to enjoy a safe and sober parade season.

Tips to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans Sober


Sleep is something we all lack during parade season. Getting enough of it is very important.

Eat well

Bring healthy snacks for the kids and you  (Follow these first two tips add water and you can handle nearly anything!)  


With all the go go go combined with the long days in the sun, staying hydrated is important. 

Bonus: Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, along with the first two tips and you can handle ANYTHING!


Remember to indulge in non-alcoholic treats as well. It's ok to go ahead and have that slice of king cake (or the whole cake) and some Popeye's chicken. It is Mardi Gras after all. 

Make the Waiting Fun

There will be a lot of waiting for the parade and even breaks between the parades. Plan activities for these times to keep you busy. 

Take a Walk

The beauty of the quiet neighborhoods just off the parade route is something to see. If you or the children get overwhelmed simply take a walk. You will be amazed at what a stroll around the block can do.

Don't Worry About FOMO

It is always okay to leave, don’t let FOMO make your decisions, trust me Mardi Gras will still be here next year!

Self Care

Self-care is probably the most important of all. Don't forget to take care of yourself!

If you or someone you know are struggling with drugs or alcohol please reach out. It can and does get better. The recovery community in New Orleans is amazing and we have so much fun. 

More Mardi Gras Tips:

Work With Cara

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