Mixing love and liquor: Valentine’s Day meets Mardi Gras

Alec Schwartzman, Print Arcade Editor

If you haven’t noticed yet, for better or worse, this year’s Valentine’s Day takes place right after Friday the 13th and smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras.

For single people, this will probably be the best Valentine’s Day ever. For one, you will not be as sickened by other people’s disgusting PDA moments because of the abundance of other distractions around. You’ll be walking and all of a sudden see a pack of humans dressed in those awful and overpriced Mardi Gras striped polos. Later, while illegally urinating on the side of someone’s house, you will think to yourself, ‘Well hey, at least I’m not one of those people.’ Plus, single people will be drowning in the free float swag that infatuated couples are too involved to notice falling from the skies. Not to mention, the random dancing and making out with strangers. I mean, who even needs love.

For the folks in relationships, these revelations may or may not complicate your plans, or lack thereof. Don’t worry though. In the end this is just a day Hallmark invented, right?

Chances are after the parades on Friday night, you and your babe/bae/boo/bb will be attempting to sleep off massive hangovers. For the overachievers, feel free to surprise your partner with breakfast in bed. For the slackers, bedside Pop-Tarts and ice water couldn’t hurt.

Once you both get out of bed, you’ll realize that moves must be made. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to snag one of the four tables outside The Boot before the stampedes of other future festivalgoers arrive. If not, continue on to St. Charles Avenue. If of age, now would be a great time to split a romantic bottle of peach André while you pull out a box of liquor-filled chocolates. Nothing says “I love you” like alcoholic chocolates.

The walk down to the parades can take a while. Take this waiting period to recite the love poems you’ve been slaving over to your loved one. Sure, your friends might laugh at you. Yeah, actually, that’s it. You will definitely be laughed at.

Once you get down to the parades, strap in for the long haul. At eleven, Krewe of Iris, the oldest and largest all-female group, rolls down St. Charles. The Krewe Captain is known for throwing her own special doubloon, which is a popular item each year. Catch it and capture the heart of the prettiest person in the neutral ground. Hopefully that is your significant other, or things could get awkward.

After catching Krewe of Tucks shortly after, you and your crew should make your way down to the French Quarter for the main event – The Krewe of Endymion, one of three Super Krewes defined by spectacular, eye-catching floats and celebrity Grand Marshals. Get there early. The parade starts at a quarter past four, but locals have been known to save viewing spots early on in the day. Endymion, deriving from Greek mythology, represents the most handsome of men and the god of youth and fertility. If that doesn’t get you and your partner feeling some of type of way, I don’t know what will.

Whether you are into big displays of affection or a more subdued effort, Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras both essentially boil down to having a good time and enjoying each other’s company. As long as you can accomplish those two, you should be fine. Fancy presents do help, though. 

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