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The most popular time to visit New Orleans is almost upon us as Mardi Gras begins this week. As the beads and banners fly this Fat Tuesday March 5th, and more than a million people visit the city, New Orleans health officials are saying celebrators should prioritize their health and safety above all. They recommend some quick tips to consider leading up to, and on the day, of Mardi Gras. Make sure to plan accordingly so that you are familiar with your surroundings and who you will be traveling with. Drink in moderation and make sure you stay hydrated. Be mindful of thrown objects, as sometimes people are injured when beads are thrown in their face. Reach out to the first aid services along the parade route if you need it, facilitated by a partnership between local emergency services and the American Red Cross. Most of all, have fun and enjoy all of the district’s many Krewes as you follow one of the nation’s largest parades.

And make sure that you know where your wallet is at all times while you’re making your way through those crowds.