4. Stake your claim modestly.
For particularly big parades, a popular and smart move is to arrive in advance and save yourself and your friends a nice bit of territory in prime viewing range. Bring the cooler, a couple of folding chairs, some snacks, and a few tote bags to cart away your haul, but note that Mardi Gras isn’t the Oklahoma Land Rush. Don’t mark off giant swaths of territory and scowl at people who dare to wander through.
5. Once you have your modest parade-route fiefdom, rule wisely and generously.
The absolute best person you’ll ever meet at a Mardi Gras parade is the one who reaches down into his cooler for a fresh, frosty cold one... and then offers you one, even though he doesn’t know you from Adam. Your chances of encountering this person increase exponentially if you are a friendly, decent sort. Better still, you can actually BE THIS PERSON.
6. Mind the fingers and toes.
Beads are flung throughout the air from floats during a parade, and are fairly easy to catch that way. Doubloons (colorful, oversized commemorative coins that are a Mardi Gras staple), a little less so. If you’re looking to grab one once it’s hit the ground, beware your digits -- many unfortunate paws have been stomped in the process. Keep an eye out for the digits of others, and you’ll be a swell guy, indeed. Conversely, don’t ever even think of stepping on someone’s hand for something as trivial as a friggin' parade doubloon. Speaking of which...