Anderson Cooper Is Headlining This Year's Mardi Gras Parade (And Other Mardi Gras Highlights You Can't Miss)

Anderson Cooper

This year, Mardi Gras starts a little later in March, which gives you plenty of time to prepare for a trip to NOLA. Home to the biggest celebration before the start of the Lent season, New Orleans is the top U.S. destination to celebrate Fat Tuesday.

What started as elegant society balls in the 18th century is now a wild celebration known as the greatest free show on earth. Besides the parade itself, there are some events worth seeing to break away from the Mardi Gras crowds.

Anderson Cooper as Grand Marshall: With a reputation as a world renown Journalist, a big name like Anderson Cooper would bring any news watcher to Mardi Gras. He is celebrated for his extensive coverage during Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Some of us just might want to see Mr. Cooper go a little wild in lieu of the Mardi Gras spirits. He will roll in the Endymion parade along with Kelly Ripa of “Live with Regis and Kelly” and her husband Marc Consuelos, Train and Pat Benatar.

Gaga at the Tea Room: Whether or not Lady Gaga will actually perform at this event could be a surprise worth waiting for. The unofficial Lady Gaga of New Orleans will be hosting a Gaga at the Tea Room Extravaganza. The Mardi Gras spirit seems like the perfect place for her uninhibited shenanigans, so you never know if she’ll make a special appearance. Make sure to enter the raffle to win 2 VIP tickets to Lady Gaga’s April 2011 concert in Miami. The event will be held at the Audubon Tea room in Audobon Park.

The Bourbon Street Awards: For 47 years, the ultimate costume contest is set for Mardi Gras day; one of the biggest pars of the month long celebration. A parade of costumes will stroll down the famous Bourbon Street in the most elaborate costumes ever seen. Expect a little controversy of course, but it is Mardi Gras!

Tiesto US Tour: When the world knows as one of the best Electronic Dance Music DJ’s, and you become a part of the Mardi Gras celebration, expect an exciting bundle of chaos. Native to The Netherlands, Tiesto is currently on a US Tour and will make a grand performance on Lundi Gras; the day before Mardi Gras. Check him out at the Contemporary Arts centre in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras Rock n Roll Marathon: What better way to try to keep yourself in shape before a weekend of booze than preparing for a Marathon? Even if you’re not running, the 26-mile marathon will feature some of the world’s top distance runners at the Annual Mardi Gras Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Before and after the event will be live performances.

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