I know, it's a big party... but there are still rules to keep it from becoming total chaos.
And if you don't know the rules, it can really cost you!
Like, for instance, crossing a barricade.
Whether you're going after some beads or other throws, or just trying to get to the other side to your friends, do not cross the barricades.
It's the most expensive Mardi Gras ticket there is... $298. And officers are carrying citation books to write you a ticket on the spot.
So not worth it.
Another major Mardi Gras mistake/expense?
Getting your car towed. That will cost you $125.
Look for the special signs for the parade routes. And don't park there.
Of course, it's not all about what NOT to do during Mardi Gras... Mobile Police also have some helpful tips, to make it more enjoyable and to keep your family safe.
Here's the list of the official Do's and Don'ts, from Mobile Police--
The Mobile Police Department has provided the following Mardi Gras safety tips and information on towed vehicles, lost children and parade inquiries.
- Attend parades in groups, with family or friends.
- Glass containers are prohibited by city ordinance.
- Do not follow floats. Violators may be arrested.
- Do not throw any object in the direction of floats, band members or any parade participants. Violators may be arrested.
- Materials known as “Silly String” and “Snap & Pops” along with similar products are illegal. Possession of any these products may result in arrest.
- Do not cross the barricades. Each officer will be carrying a ticket book and will be issuing citations for the offense. The fine for crossing the barricades is $298.
- No underage drinking is allowed. Special undercover police will arrest violators.
- If you need police assistance during a parade, go to the nearest intersection and advise a uniformed police officer.
- Choose a well-lit area for night parade viewing.
- Establish a post-parade meeting place for family and friends in case you become separated.
- Park vehicles in secure areas and do not leave valuables in plain sight. Utilize the trunk to store valuables.
- Uniformed and plain clothes officers will be patrolling behind the crowds to identify and arrest persons engaging in criminal activity.
- Pets are prohibited during the parades downtown.
- Skateboards and motorized scooters are prohibited.
Towed vehicles will be taken to a temporary impound lot at Water and Monroe Streets. The temporary fenced lot is located between the former Roussos Restaurant and the Mobile Cruise Terminal under the I-10 roadway.
The lot will be open until 11:00 p.m. each parade night. Vehicles not retrieved by that time will be moved to the permanent impound facility behind the Mobile Police Department Training Academy at 1251 Virginia Street. Call 251-690-7074 or 251-690-7077 to verify if your vehicle has been towed.
Cost to retrieve a vehicle from either of the impound lots is $125. Only cash, debit cards or Master Card and Visa credit cards will be accepted. Motorists picking up their towed vehicles must present a valid driver’s license, proof of ownership (registration, a tag receipt, etc.) and proof of current insurance.
Most vehicles are towed because of parking violations. The Mobile Police Department will begin closing streets in the downtown area one hour before each scheduled parade. Non-parking areas will be designated by signage, including special gold Mardi Gras “No Parking” signs along the parade routes.
RV parking on the medians along Claiborne and Canal Streets is prohibited. There will be RV parking underneath I-10 at Canal and Water Streets for a fee.
Police urge parents to make every effort to place an identity card in their child’s pocket in the event they become separated from each other. The card should provide the name of the child, address, telephone contact numbers and the name of a relative.
In the event parents and children are separated, children should be instructed to go to the nearest police officer. Police will attempt to contact the parents and the children will be taken to the downtown mini-precinct at 320 Dauphin Street until they can be reunited.
Citizens are asked to refrain from calling 911 or the Mobile Police Department’s non-emergency number for Mardi Gras information requests. Those requests can be addressed by dialing 311, the city’s information line, or go to www.311.cityofmobile.org.
Laissez le bon temps rouler... within reason.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)