As Fat Tuesday approaches, many people will plan to attend one of the many Mardi Gras tents and parties in St. Louis, especially the Grand Parade and the celebration in Soulard. In order to safely enjoy the festivities, our attorneys would like to remind everyone of a few Mardi Gras safety tips so you and your friends may avoid injuries during the parties and parades.
Staying Safe While You Enjoy Mardi Gras
Whether you are driving a vehicle in one of the Mardi Gras truck floats or participating in the festivities as a spectator, make sure to do your part by following these Mardi Gras safety tips to keep yourself and others safe from personal injury as you partake in the festivities.
If you are participating in a St. Louis Mardi Gras parade, consider the following:
- Drive with a friend at your side! If you are a driver of a Mardi Gras truck float, consider having someone ride in the vehicle or cab with you to help you focus on safety and to help you in the event you have an emergency.
- Drive slowly. Mardi Gras parades maintain a slower speed so spectators may observe the float decorations and keep the procession moving at a steady pace. Speeding increases the risk for striking a pedestrian, hitting another float or injuring someone aboard your float.
- Throw with caution. Do not hand items such as beads to someone over the front of the float. It is safer to throw or toss items from the sides so that spectators can move back from the float.
- Keep the number of passengers on the float to a safe number.
- Make sure that you have wheel walkers near the float. A wheel walker is a person who walks next to the float to prevent parade spectators getting too close to the floats, which could potentially cause injuries.
- Inspect Mardi Gras truck float connections. Ensure that the floats are properly attached to towing vehicles to avoid the float separating and crashing into bystanders.
If you are a spectator at one of the St. Louis Mardi Gras parades, consider the following Mardi Gras safety tips:
- Avoid getting close to parade floats when you are watching or trying to catch beads.
- Don’t follow behind floats or bands. While they are moving slowly, this does not mean they are not able to hit you if you walk in front of them.
- Don’t put your hand on the ground to grab items thrown from floats. It is not uncommon to suffer broken hand bones when someone steps on your hand while you are trying to pick up beads.
- Don’t throw items at floats. This could hit the mardi gras truck float driver and cause a parade accident or injure another parade participant.
- Respect barricades, ropes or other items that are placed to separate the crowd from the parade. They are set up with a good reason and should be adhered to throughout the event.
- Watch where you walk. Mardi Gras in Soulard contains uneven sidewalks, streets with potholes, exposed tree roots and unmarked drainage holes. In 2023, a parade goer fell into a drainage hole and severely injured her leg. Taking note of where you are walking and wearing suitable shoes is extremely important to ensuring your safety on parade day.
If you are consuming alcohol in Mardi Gras tents or at parades, consider the following:
- Do not drink and drive. Take a cab, Uber or another ride share service to avoid a situation where someone could be injured by a drunk driver during Mardi Gras parades or other events.
- If you are being picked up or dropped off near the Mardi Gras celebration, pay attention to vehicles around you. There is a great risk of being hit by a vehicle that is not paying attention to those entering and exiting vehicles.
- Avoid bars and Mardi Gras tents with too many people. While many bars and party tents have occupancy limits, it can be hard for these businesses to adequately maintain a safe location when too many people crowd into confined spaces.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Winter weather in St. Louis is unpredictable as we all know. Be mindful of high winds and heavy rains when you are inside Mardi Gras tents. If they persist for a long period of time, consider moving your party elsewhere in case of a serious tent collapse.
Do Your Part by Following Our Mardi Gras Safety Tips!
Mardi Gras in St. Louis is a day full of fun and excitement, but you must do your part to keep yourself and others safe from personal injury. By following these Mardi Gras safety tips, you will be able to keep a watchful eye on others and still enjoy the day.
It is also important to note that the above list of Mardi Gras tips is not limited to the above, but this list is a good start. Please be careful so you are not injured during Mardi Gras this year or in the future.
For more safety tips and information from our personal injury attorneys, visit our legal blog to read the latest posts.