Mardi Gras in New Orleans is like no other experience you have ever had. Most people come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras to party and have fun. However, there are some people who's sole mission is to take advantage of anyone who is unprepared for their plan.
The TUPD encourages you to enjoy the Carnival Season and suggests that you read the following information, which can assist you in having a safe Mardi Gras:
The New Orleans Police Department along with the assistance of several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies do an excellent job in policing the French Quarter and parade routes however, like many large cities, crimes do slip through the cracks.
Some general safety rules to keep in mind are:
Don't park in the French Quarter or along a parade routes.
Exactly 2 hours before a parade, fleets of tow trucks come to take all the cars off the route. City tow trucks can remove a car in less than two minutes. All vehicular traffic is limited to residential and business purposes. Use parking lots and garages to avoid tickets and towing fees.
Travel well lit, highly populated areas.
Criminals usually occupy areas where they cannot be easily identified. Areas that are well lit and highly populated tend to discourage criminal activity.
Download the RAVE Guardian App.
If you have a "tulane.edu" address, you are eligible to download this free phone app directly from on your phone. This app features a "virtual escort," a means of confidentially reporting a crime, and a function to assist us in locating you should you get lost. The power of "GPS tracking technology can be in the palm of your hand." The system only tracks data when you activate it. Your information remains on a secure server unless you activate it!
The bathrooms available in the French Quarter are few and far between.
To use the bathroom in a store or bar, you must buy something from them. Some places will even stamp your hand so you can come back for a repeat performance. There will be portable bathrooms located on several corners in the French Quarter but, as the days pass, they become very dirty and could make for an unpleasant experience.
Don't Urinate in public.
This is a violation of the City's ordinance and could lead to your arrest.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Become familiar with the area in which you are in. If something seems like it is unsafe, follow your instincts (they are usually right).
Respect barricades, ropes or any other device that separates the street from the neutral grounds (median strip) and sidewalks.
These are clear lines put up by the city that should not be crossed. As this is a safety barrier monitored by police, it could lead to an arrest.
Get into the spirit of Mardi Gras.
Have a good time. Wear a costume. Enjoy what's happening in and around New Orleans. Explore all that New Orleans has to offer.
Louisiana's Open Container Law permits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public; however, the container cannot be a can or glass. Before leaving a bar or club, pour your drink into a "to go" cup. It is also a good idea to alternate your drinks with water, so you can stay hydrated. If you have consumed too much alcohol, please do not drive. Take a cab or alternate transportation such as UBER to your destination instead. Driving under the influence can lead to severe penalties by police!
Follow Instructions Given by Police.
The New Orleans Police Department as well as Louisiana State troopers are among the best when it comes to crowd-control. They know exactly where the line is between acceptable and unacceptable behavior during Carnival. If a police officer gives you instructions, they are usually relative to a safe practice, an attempt to shield you from an unforeseen danger, and/or maintain a safe flow of pedestrian traffic as to prevent injuries or other problems. If you fail to comply with the officer's instructions, you will most likely be arrested. Police must resolve conflicts quickly in order to get back on the street.