Last year really put a damper on Louisiana for several reasons. One of those was because we didn't get the chance to have many of the often sought-after Mardi Gras balls to attend. I used to be a part of a local Mardi Gras Krewe myself and one thing they know how to do is have a good time. Well, this year many of them are returning and things are getting started as early as this weekend.

When I first moved here in 2001, I was invited to a Mardi Gras Ball at the time and he gave me a list of things that I need to do to be prepared. Ok, I am joking a little, but he did mention that I need to be ready to have a good time. Needless to say, I went to several others after that and as I mentioned, I joined one for several years as well. Here are some things that I found out and I believe can help you as well if you are attending your first Mardi Gras Balls.

There are several popular Krewes in Lake Charles that hold annual events every year. The hard part may be deciding which one you want to attend. Now, these are just some recommendations based on my personal experiences. You may have some more and I am welcome to your offerings to ensure a great time for our first-timers out there.

  • Do your research on each of the Mardi Gras Krewes,  and see which one or two may have the event you might want to take part in.
  • While you can have fun by yourself. I would recommend that you have a date. If you are married that is a no-brainer, but it's obviously more fun when you have someone that you came with as you are sure to be on the dance floor for most of the night.
  • Find you a Tuxedo or evening gown as Mardi Gras balls are formal affairs, and you should be dressed your best for the evening. Make sure that you choose some comfortable shoes for the evening as well. There is no fun if your corns hurt. If your feet are hurting you can best believe your evening will be ending earlier than you expect it to.
  • You may want to spice up your outfit for the night with some festive colors to go along with the Mardi Gras theme. This is your time to shine, whether it's beads, a hat for the evening. Just have a little fun with it.
  • Depending on the night's festivities you may want to talk with your date on whether both of you will be drinking that evening or if one of you will be the designated driver. If you are both going to participate, consider renting a limo or catching a Lyft to the event. We want you to have the time of your life, but we also want to make sure you make it home safely.
  • If you are invited by a Krewe member to their ball, I have always been a fan of taking something to show a sign of gratitude. I usually see if there is anything needed for their table. Most will say to just bring yourself, but there is nothing wrong with asking.
  • Finally, find out more about the Krewe,. This is how I became a part of the Mardi Gras Krewe that I was a part of. I had a great time at the event and wanted to see how I could be a part of the fun on a more permanent basis. Unfortunately, work got in the way, but for the 3 years that I was a part of the organization, it was the best time that I had.

One thing about the folks here in Lake Charles is they don't meet strangers and they will show you a great time. Get out there and Mardi Gras it up with some great people.

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