Be safe and laissez les bon temps rouler!

Acadiana has a vibrant Mardi Gras scene that is very different from the atmosphere in New Orleans. While it shares many of the same elements – masking, parades and big parties – ours is more family-friendly and wholesome than the French Quarter chaos.

But that does not mean that celebrating Mardi Gras in any venue is completely safe. Any exuberant public celebration involving alcohol has the potential to turn dangerous or even deadly for the participants and spectators. If you are heading out to celebrate Cajun Mardi Gras this year, remember to keep yourself and your family members safe.

Have a meeting spot

Anywhere there are big crowds, there is the potential for people to get separated from their group. Before merging with the crowd, choose a place to rendezvous in case you lose one another. Don’t depend on getting cellphone signals, as they are often overtaxed in large crowds.

Keep kids away from the floats

In the crush of the crowd to grab trinkets, it is very easy for a child to stumble and get dragged under the wheels of a float. Make sure that your children never run up to the floats. Stay back and help them catch the beads and doubloons.

Be wary of drunk drivers

As you head home after the last parade, keep in mind that many of the drivers on those same roads may not be completely sober. Unfortunately, there is a rise in drunk driving during Carnival. If you or a family member gets injured in an accident this Carnival season, you should learn about your right to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and other losses.