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Mardi Gras 2011: Don’t Try This at Home

Mardi Gras 2011

Doesn't matter which city you celebrate it, Mardi Gras really isn't for kids

There’s a reason why many New Orleans residents’ vacation plans coincide with Mardi Gras. It’s for the same reason the Fort Lauderdale locals head to the hills when Spring Break comes to town.

For sure, the Big Easy might be a place to sow your wild oats during the build-up to Fat Tuesday, which explains why it’s not the most family-friendly place to be.

If you think New Year’s Eve is amateur hour, multiply that by 100,000 and — faster than you can say “laissez les bon temps roulez” — you have Mardi Gras.

As revered as Mardi Gras is by locals of the Crescent City, it’s also a gumbo of drunks, buffoons and rapscallions spilling their beers, showing their breasts, and begging for beads.

Not that I exactly speak from experience. When I was a college student, I was mildly enticed by the thought of going south to New Orleans. For some reason I never did, but my husband, who hails from Louisiana, has often told me something like this: “I wouldn’t have wanted my children around me or any of my friends during Mardi Gras. I doubt any parent would, for that matter.”

While everybody loves a parade, if you do insist taking your children to Mardi Gras, it’s probably best during the earlier parades. But as the build-up to Fat Tuesday crescendos in earnest this weekend, the little ones might be best left behind, letting the good times roll in the company of their Dora dolls and Lincoln Logs.

Would you take your kid to a Mardi Gras celebration?

Image: Wikipedia

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