Mardi Gras, New Orleans
You will find many stores in the French Quarter and several in the River Walk Mall which sell all the accoutrements of Mardi Gras. I found Masks and Make Believe to be one of the nicest I saw with an emphasis on masks but a good selection of other unique items as well.
What to buy: For all true Mardi Gras revelers, it should be unthinkable not to be costumed and masked! In fact, the mask may be the Piece d'Resistance!! In Masks and Make Believe you will find some of the most exquisite Venetian Carnivale masks for your costume or perhaps just to display as a work of art. Masks made for Mardi Gras Balls are the more detailed and skillfully designed masks are quite expensive but so beautiful that it took all my will power to leave the shop without one!! Made of satin, ribbons, pearls, sequins, beads and most gorgeous feather arrangements, the masks are made to cover the eyes or the full face and are made for men as well as women. You'll also find some of the nicer Mardi Gras necklace beads here as well.
Store hours: Monday - Saturday 10am to 9pm
Sunday 11am to 7pm
What to pay: The most exquisite masks at this shop were priced at $100 and up! You will also find inexpensive and moderately priced masks will be light on your wallet and beautiful as well. These will be priced at about $8 and up. The nicer Mardi Gras necklace beads will be priced at $4 and up.
You can hardly go 5 feet in New Orleans without running into a gift store that has masks or Mardi Gras beads or something. Well, Mardi Gras Madness is devoted soley to Mardi and Mardi Gras only! It certainly doesn't have the best quality or the best prices, but it's one stop shopping. The most attractive feature of this store is the unique entrance as you can see in the picture.
The official colors of Mardi Gras are green, gold and purple and you'll see this everywhere.
What to buy: Shop here for beads, boas, masks, decorations and anything else to do with Mardi Gras. If you want quality masks and costumes, try another store though. Also, other stores have better, more interesting selections of beads which make a great souvenir to take home.
What to pay: At least $4 and up for beads, masks are higher though not good quality.
This place is like the one stop shopping for all your Mardi Gras party needs. You may or may not find bargains here, but this place is more geared towards having all the ingredients for the perfect party recipe.
A plethora of decorations, music, cups, masks, confetti, beads, umbrellas, doubloons, costumes, and king cakes! (Sort of like..."If you sell it, they will come!")
Dotted around the store were manequins dressed in costumes that were used in previous parades. Very elaborate, I could just imagine the time consumption just to put the beads and sequins on those costumes.
What to buy: Anything crazy...
I found the smallest ashtray there!!!
I took this picture as I was walking by the shop. It is a typical souvenier shop in the French Quarter, selling beads, post cards, T-shirts and other Mardi Gras stuff. I have no idea what the name of the store is or even exactly where it is. I just thought the mannequins in the store were funny.
What to buy: Lots of the souvenirs are based around the city’s unique Mardi Gras, with beads, masks, costumes, dolls, photos, paintings and other artefacts.
There are many souvenier shops to buy beads, masks for Mardi Gra and other items all through out the city.
Don't forget the Mardi Gras beads. Dozens and dozens of colourful shops display beads, colourful hats and masks... it doesn't have to be Mardi Gras time in New Orleans to get into the spirit.