Champagne-fueled quests for secret parades more your speed? Badass Balloon Co’s Desiree has the Mardi Gras tips you need.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Desiree, entrepreneur, founder of Badass Balloon Co. and a French Quarter resident. I found my soul city in New Orleans 4 years ago.
Q. When people check out your IG feed, what side of Nola will they see?
People will find a life of friendship, food, cocktails and saying “yes” to all the adventures that New Orleans places at your feet.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about Mardi Gras? What does it mean to you?
My favorite thing about Mardi Gras is the sense of community. To the outside world, it’s simply a colorful explosion of revelers. But to locals, it’s much more unique than that. It’s a sacred act in itself – from the amount of time we spent costuming (But, why? Who knows?), to navigating the crowds for a glitter shoe, to the food traditions during the holiday season.
Q. Uh oh! Your friends just told you they’re coming for Mardi Gras and know nothing about the city. Quick, where do you send them to Mardi Gras up?
- Eat: Coquette, Arnaud’s, Coops, Sylvain, Jack Rose
- Sleep: Soniat House, Royal Sonesta, Pontchatrain Hotel
- Shop: Glitter Box (they have awesome workshops to learn how to costume), Sweet Pea and Tulip, Beauty Plus and Mardi Gras Mani’s at Paint’d.
Q. Give us a few of your Mardi Gras “must dos”?
- Dong Phong King Cake run at 7am before they sell out.
- Finding all of the secret parades like Krewe of Eris and St. Ann
- Leiarette’s at the Chewbaccus Parade
- Ending up at The Saint at some point without remembering
- Catching the Rolling Evli
- MOM’s ball
- Trips to Jefferson Variety
- Catching the Zulu parade at line up
- Chambong Sundays at Jack Rose.
Q. What’s your favorite parade and why?
- Chewbacchus: Its weird and the throws are usually hand made.
- Muses: Because, glitter shoes!
- Joan of Arc: It marks the first of many awesome parades to come.
- Krewe Boheme: It’s a new parade. And, I like change in an otherwise traditional season.
- Zulu: Coconuts!
- Krewe du Vieux: Because there are no children around. The cute factor gets them all the throws at the other parades.
Q. Walk us through your Fat Tuesday itinerary.
- 6 a.m. wake up
- 6:30 a.m. Chambong
- 7 a.m. Bacon, Egg and Cheese biscuit from Matassa’s
- 7:15 a.m. Start makeup and hair
- 8 a.m. Second Champagne breakfast at a friend house in the Bywater.
- 10 a.m. Line up for the St. Ann’s parade with friends. We have a custom built cart that houses all of the essentials: booze, water, speaker, microphone, battery packs for us to charge our phones, PoBoys and handbags. We follow the route and end up at someone’s house or balcony when we get to the French Quarter. We sloppily eat Pizza from Cosimo’s by 3 p.m. and we all disperse by 5 p.m. Because on Fat Tuesday nothing good can come after dark.
The only Mardi Gras reveler who *might* like champagne more is our bestie Nola Bougie. Read up on her Carnival.
And be sure to grab our brand new Mardi Gras 2019 Guide to make your Carnival even more festive.