17. Dress up the family canine for Barkus
Yes, friends, there is a Mardi Gras parade for dogs. If you have a pet pooch or even if you’re just an admiring fan of man’s best friend, this one is possibly the most adorable parade of Carnival outside of ‘tit Rex and all their tiny little shoebox floats.
18. Successfully land beads in King Kong’s mouth
There are too many notable floats in the Bacchus parade to name here (except for the Bacchagator, which is awesome), but the one that locals love every year is King Kong, whose open, fanged jaw begs Carnival-goers to try and land some beads right in the monster’s gaping maw. Don’t ask why. It’s tradition.
19. Dance with a uniformed, on-duty NOPD officer
Yeah, the cops here dance. Seriously. And not just polkas and foxtrots, either, we’re talking whipping, wobbling, the Nae Nae, the Cha Cha Slide, and, famously, the Cupid Shuffle.
20. Throw tips at some old-school flambeaux bearers
Carnival floats no longer need people wielding live fire lanterns to illuminate them (we have plenty of fiber optics and LEDs for that these days), but the tradition never died down. Seeing the flambeauxs stroll down the avenue dancing and strutting while keeping their fires alight is an inimitable, magical thing to behold. Tradition says that you should tip them, though these days they tend to prefer bills over coins chucked at the backsplash of their fire poles.