Have fun, stay safe during Mardi Gras season

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Whether you decide to catch a Mardi Gras parade in Picayune, on the coast or in New Orleans, for it to be enjoyable parade watchers and riders must be safe.

This past weekend two riders in two different parades were injured when they fell from a float. So for this carnival season, we offer a few common sense safety tips.

If you are attending a parade, respect law enforcement. If they tell you to step back or not to do something, listen. They are there to protect you and enforce the rules. While it may seem ridiculous to you, there is usually a reason for a certain rule so just smile politely and do as they say.

Please don’t be obnoxious. People are there with their children and are looking to have a good, clean and safe time. Please respect the people around you.

Don’t run into the street to get a trinket and especially don’t let your children run out to pick up items.

Floats can’t stop on a dime and it may be hard to see you if the parade takes place at night. If there is a barricade, stay behind it. It’s there for a reason, to keep you safe!

If there are no barricades be careful how close you are to the street. Floats are sometimes bigger than they appear and if you get too close you may be injured. Crowds can also push you closer to danger and make you fall. Be especially careful if you decide to place your child on your shoulders.

No matter where you go to watch parades, be mindful of local parking laws. Even though you may see other people breaking the rules, it doesn’t mean those cars won’t get tickets or towed.

Ultimately, Mardi Gras, no matter where it takes place, is a great way to spend time with your family and have fun. Enjoy yourselves, be careful and laissez les bons temps rouler.