This Mardi Gras, my husband and I have decided to something we have never done before in our lives, we’ve decided to sit in the grandstand seats on Fat Tuesday. The grandstand seats are the seats at Gallier Hall and also at Lafayette Square which is across the street. The grandstand seats are really thee place to be if you want to hear every single band perform because that’s where it’s going to happen. All bands have to play in front of Gallier Hall and it’s also the place where the Mayor toasts Rex and Zulu so, it really is the parade hot spot. For any “bandheads”like myself,all bands also play under any bridge(i.e. on Canal and Claiborne for Endymion and on St. Charles and Lee Circle for uptown parades) because the bridge helps to project the sound. Good luck getting a spot there though, EVERYONE wants to hear the bands play so, it’s hard to get a good spot.
Most people do not like grandstand seats and I can fully understand why. Mardi Gras is a time for family and friends to get together. Most people bring their grill on the parade route and they cook red beans and all sorts of other dishes and spend the entire day there enjoying the festivities. Also, why pay to sit in some bleaches when you can set up shop on the neutral ground (called the median by non-New Orleanians) for free.
This year, it will just be my hubby and me out there. Both of my kids are in their schools’ marching bands(yea! Aug and Prep) and they have to march on that day so, they won’t be with us. There’s no need for us to fight the crowds for a spot on the neutral ground because, we didn’t plan on cooking anything out there(there are plenty of vendors selling food and you always run into someone you know, so we won’t be hungry.)
If you want the freedom to run around and catch throws the grandstands are not for you. But, if you are old -foggies like we are, who are pretty much done with Mardi Gras but have to be out there anyway(gotta support the kiddies) this is the place to be.