Safety Protocols for Mardi Gras Parades: Our Tips for Preventing a Personal Injury


two friends celebrating at Mardi Gras parades

As Fat Tuesday approaches, many people in the St. Louis area will plan to attend one of the many local Mardi Gras parades and events, especially the Grand Parade and the celebration in Soulard. In order to safely enjoy the festivities, our attorneys would like to remind everyone about proper safety protocols so you and your friends may avoid injuries during Mardi Gras parades. 

Do Your Part for the Safety of Yourself and Others

Whether you are driving a vehicle in one of the Mardi Gras parades or participating in the festivities as a spectator, make sure to do your part by following these guidelines to keep yourself and others safe as you partake in the festivities.  

If you are participating in a parade, consider the following:

1. If you are a driver of a vehicle towing a 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. 

2. 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. 

3. Do not hand items such as beads to someone over the side of the float. It is safer to throw or toss items from the sides so that spectators can move back from the float. 

4. Keep the number of passengers on the float to a safe number. 

5. 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.   

6. 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 Mardi Gras parades, consider the following:

1. Avoid getting close to parade floats when you are watching or trying to catch beads. 

2. Don’t follow behind floats or bands.

3. 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. 

4. Don’t throw items at floats. 

5. Respect barricades, ropes or other items that are placed to separate the crowd from the parade. 

If you are consuming alcohol at one of the Mardi Gras parades, consider the following: 

1. 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.

2. 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. 

3. Avoid bars and 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.  

4. The list of proper safety procedures during Mardi Gras parades are not limited to the above, but this list is a good start. Please be careful so you are not injured during Mardi Gras.  

For more safety tips and information from our personal injury attorneys, visit our legal blog to read the latest posts.