Jenni Lawson, NPR
Kids — and adults — enjoy a little extra lift during a parade from a Mardi Gras ladder.
The Krewe of Thoth hands out beads at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. The Carnival season's daily parades culminate on Fat Tuesday.
A parent's checklist: car safety seat; jogging stroller; Mardi Gras ladder. Commentator Chris Rose finds you can still have fun on Carnival in New Orleans when you're a parent — you just need a few more accessories.
The key, Rose says, is a Mardi Gras ladder, a regular ladder outfitted with seats to give kids the best vantage point to see the floats and catch a few trinkets thrown by members of parade organizers or krewes that pay homage to figures from Bonaparte to Bacchus.
Rose's ladder is painted the traditional colors of Mardi Gras: purple, green and gold. It has safety straps, an umbrella holder, hooks for hanging beads — and cup holders. After all, having your hands full while revelers on floats hurl plastic beads at your family isn't a good idea.
For anyone wondering how useful a Mardi Gras ladder can be, Rose says St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. For that parade, Rose says that while the ladders are handy in providing a good view, they're also best to "catch the cabbages and onions they throw into the crowd."