Surviving The Mardi Gras Bathroom Crisis

January 22 2013

Mardi Gras BathroomsThere’s many awesome, magical and spectacular things about the Mardi Gras parades. However, one of the not so awesome things about Mardi Gras is the bathroom situation.

Whether you’re enjoying daiquiris or locally brewed beers or even just water, eventually you’re going to need to use a restroom. For those of you that live close to the parade routes, you have my envy.

For the rest of us, here’s the guide to navigating the bathroom crisis during Mardi Gras season.

Do Not Urinate In Public

Something like 90% of the arrests made along the parade routes and in the French Quarter during the parade season are related to people peeing in public. So don’t do it, there’s a good chance that you’ll be arrested…not to mention that it’s plain ol’ rude and not very lady or gentlemen like.

Portable Public Restrooms

 There will be a limited number of porta potty’s along the parade routes. A very limited number, especially when you consider the size of the crowds. The best bet are the portable public bathrooms set up around Lafayette Square near the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Poydras Street.

 Pay Per Pee Bathrooms

On parade day, most restaurants, bars and other businesses along the parade route close their bathrooms to everyone but their paying customers. The good news is that some places allow you to purchase bathroom passes on a per visit or all day basis. Prices range from a couple of bucks per visit to ten dollars for an all day basis.

Churches and schools along the parade route often open up the doors to their bathrooms to help raise money for their activities.

Hotel Bathrooms

Good try, but think again. Don’t think you can walk into a hotel to use their bathroom unless it's your hotel. During Mardi Gras most hotels only allow in guests with room keys.

Parade Packages

A number of businesses along the parade route offer all inclusive packages that include food, drink and most importantly a bathroom. Michaul’s in the Central Business district is one, but there’s a number of them out there. Prices range from under a hundred dollars to a couple of hundred bucks, depending on the parade.


Overall, be prepared to pay for bathroom access and bring cash, it’ll be cheaper than paying a fine for public urination. Be friendly to the people around you because you never know who might be one of the hardcore Mardi Gras fans who brings his own porta –potty on the back of his F350 pick-up truck. Don’t laugh, it happens!

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