A quintessential rule to remember is that “Mardi Gras’s a marathon, and not a sprint”. The season of Carnival begins in early January, and kicks off weeks of revelry and celebration – which culminates on Mardi Gras day. AKA Fat Tuesday. As the days grow closer to Mardi Gras, the streets are closed between 5pm – 5am for 1 weekend & come to life with families and friends in their purple green & gold. Mardi Gras’s a party in and of itself, so this is the perfect time to celebrate your 50th birthday. It was only fitting that our guest of honor chose to celebrate her 50th in New Orleans & knew Clandestine Events + Experiences would be the ones bringing to life her dream birthday extravaganza!
The hosts & their guests, who all came from California, would be flown into the city, to enjoy a week of carnival and revelry. The Krewe of Cali were about to celebrate their cherished guest of honor in high style.
Day 1: The First of the Krewe
Wednesday evening, a few of the Krewe of Cali arrived in New Orleans and were accompanied to the marvelous Maison de la Luz in New Orleans’ Central Business District. There, they were greeted by the Clandestine Team & were given their very first taste of New Orleans Mardi Gras with a viewing of the Krewe of Nix parade and some live music.
Day 2: The Krewe’s All Here, Just in Time For Muses
After the arrival of the rest of the Krewe in NOLA, they were met with a private car service to get them transported into the city, where they would join the rest at Maison De Luz.
Happy hour at the one-of-a-kind Bar Marilou began the night, and after that, grandstand seats to observe the ladies of the Krewe of Muses do their thing.
Day 3: The Big Day
Emily’s birthday celebration began bright & early at 9:30 AM in the morning. A private car met the Krewe at their hotel and whisked them off to the French Quarter to partake in what lots of people thought to be the start of Mardi Gras weekend, the Greasing of the Poles at the Royal Sonesta. Royal Sonesta New Orleans created the ritual of greasing the support poles of the building as a practical method to discourage obsessive revelers from shimmying up to the coveted balcony space.
After the poles, the Krewe had a great time at Bourbon street balcony at a private brunch where they danced, cheered as well as sang happy birthday to the birthday girl, after which they were escorted by their very own second-line parade through the French quarter with the glorious @Knockaz Brass Band
The clear follow-up to a day full of drinking and celebrating was a personal liquid IV for each member of the Krewe of Cali Krewe prior to a lavish dinner at New Orleans’ own Arnauds.
Clandestine ensured to score the Krewe wristbands to Bon Bon Visant at the D.B.A to complete the night.
Day 4: Ride with Tucks
The 4th day of the 6 day occasion was about the unique experience of having a ride in a Mardi Gras Float. The Krewe of Cali began their day the way any Krewe would, with mimosas and face painting. At 12 PM they participate in the Krewe of Tucks & had an electric experience by riding in the parade. No parade is complete without a pizza after-party back at the hotel. The night was completed with a VIP viewing of New Orleans’ own @Rebirth Brass Band at the globally-famous @Howlin Wolf.
Day 5: Bacchus and Brunch
Sunday began with Brunch at Josephine Estelle, and after that, grandstand seats for the parade of Krewe of Bacchus. Dinner at @Commanders palace was then followed by a little more live music.
Day 5: Lundi Gras
Crawfish at Harahan’s Seithers Seafood was then followed by hair & makeup for the remaining Krewe of Cali to prepare for the Krewe of Orpheus parade.
Day 7: Fat Tuesday
The final day of the Mardi Gras season is a joyous and bittersweet occasion. Frequently, the city makes this a large-scale show, completing the season with a bang. The Krewe woke extra early this Fat Tuesday to ensure they’re able to catch the Krewe of Zulu parade. Once the parade’s done, the group was brought to dress up in a costume and walk through the quarter, a tradition that’s magical seen by several New Orleanian, transplants & every person in between. The city takes a deep breath in and exhales all of the love and memories made in the days leading up. The whole city has taken part in a collective marathon & at this point, everyone can say they ”suit up”, and more stylish.
Accommodations provided by Maison de la Luz, Photography by Hannah Pickle, Brass Band Second Line is led by Knockaz Brass Band, Parade ride with The Krewe of Tucks & talent is given by LadyBEAST Productions.