Not all Mardi Gras celebrations are created equal. Go off the beaten parade route to find the weirdest, craziest and most authentic ways Louisianians enjoy Carnival season.

Fun on the up and up.
From flying hot dogs thrown at parades to costumed wiener dogs starring in them, enjoy all of the normal-to-us Mardi Gras sights and sounds.
Monroe-West Monroe
Try a king cake burger before watching the costumed pet parade or the children’s parade and lighted night parade from the Krewe of Janus.
Webster Parish
Get down and dirty at the Cajun Muddy Gras, the biggest, messiest, family-friendly Mardi Gras party around.
Ruston-Lincoln
Support local arts this Mardi Gras by attending Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball and going on a public art tour in downtown Ruston.
Shreveport
There are lots of festivities, but don’t miss the costumed dogs, cats, turtles, goats and more at the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade.
The Granddaddy of grand celebrations.
Watch parades roll and dance along to late-night jazz, brass and funk in the city of untraditional traditions—with new surprises every year.
New Orleans
Louisiana is full of quirky Mardi Gras traditions, but New Orleans is the home base. Be here to see what new surprises are in store this year.
Jefferson Parish
Marching bands compete in the Rhythm on the Route, live concerts and good food take center stage at Family Gras and historic traditions are around every corner.
Middle of it all.
Take a Mardi Gras road trip with pit stops for King Cakes, po'boys, classic car shows, masked balls and a whole lot more.
Evangeline Parish
Compete in the prettiest (and ugliest) costume contests, attend the Cajun Music Festival and join the hunt to gather the ingredients for community gumbo.
Natchitoches
A trip to Natchitoches for Mardi Gras isn’t complete without going to the Krewe of Dionysus parade and trying a traditional meat pie.
Allen Parish
Join a 15-mile horse and wagon trail ride that includes stops for gumbo, dances and the annual chasing of the chicken.
Alexandria/Pineville
Tailgate with your family at the nighttime parade in Natchitoches and watch illuminated floats ride across the bridge from Pineville to Alexandria.
Extra Cajun. Extra entertaining.
Experience the thrill of authentic traditions like the squeezebox shootout, gumbo cookoffs and the chasing of the chickens at a traditional Courir de Mardi Gras.
Lake Charles
Gather around the shore of the lake to see the annual Lighted Boat Parade and other celebrations—but only after you’ve had your fill at the casinos.
Louisiana's Cajun Bayou
Enjoy a gumbo of Mardi Gras celebrations in small towns that mix local Cajun folklore with traditional Catholic customs. Just don’t miss the Cajun Bayou Food Trail.
Lafayette
Masked balls, walking parades, carnival rides and Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette are all traditions born from the town’s first celebration in 1869.
St. Martin Parish
Watch the parade at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park. Then, join the Courir des Enfants, where children parade around to find all of the ingredients for gumbo.
Vermilion Parish
Kaplan’s Mardi Gras traditions were founded by a group of women in 1955. Now, they include Chic-a-la-pie children’s parade and food at Suire’s Restaurant and Grocery.
Cajun Coast
The century-old celebrations include decorations at Oaklawn Manor and all the king cakes and donuts you can eat.
St. Landry Parish
Join 2,000 participants for traditions that date back generations including the Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras and boucherie pig roast.
Iberia Parish
Grand Marais is an iconic Mardi Gras party with no theme other than ultra-elaborate costume contests for everything from ugliest to the most original.
Jeff Davis Parish
See the best accordion and squeezebox players in the world compete at the annual Squeezebox Shootout.
Houma
Enjoy creative king cakes, traditional walking parades and more Mardi Gras fun before exploring the 2,500 square miles of beautiful wetlands.
Southern flavor. Quirky adventures.
Watch a parade for everything but ordinary. From the decorated lawn mowers competition to the boat parade, every day of Mardi Gras is something else.
St. Tammany Parish/Louisiana's Northshore
Extravagant boat parades and bedazzled lawnmower contests headline a series of one-of-a-kind traditions in St. Tammany Parish.
Tangipahoa Parish
Attend the 33rd annual Krewe of Omega Mardi Gras Parade, complete with marching bands, crazy floats and a family-friendly zone.
Old Louisiana. New experiences.
Explore iconic architecture, watch an eccentric parade featuring pink flamingos and enjoy some of the oldest celebrations near the Louisiana State Capitol.
Baton Rouge
One of the the most notable of the capital city's many parades is Spanish Town, an irreverent celebration replete with irony, political satire and a kitschy pink flamingo mascot.