Thousands of event professionals are descending on New Orleans this week for The Special Event. We’ll be there, bearing adorable event prof valentines… and dire warnings for our visiting kinfolk. Why? Mardi Gras is approaching fast.

Heed us! Carnival season is a blast but, as local officials warn, it is not to be taken lightly. As your local guru, I implore you to read on, and prepare yourself for…

Glitter Lung

If you’re only visiting for a few days, you’re unlikely to do any crafting with this nefarious substance. However, every visitor should be aware of the danger of secondhand glitter. Even a brief brush with a local performer or enthusiast runs you the risk of simple irritation or, at worst, betraying your misbehavior when you head back to Normsville! Follow these careful hazardous substance removal tips from

Beady Eye

When attending parades, I strongly recommend lab-grade safety eyewear and keeping your attention on the floats. Carnival throws range from soft plush toys to metal coins to whole coconuts and high-heeled shoes. Even plastic beads can be dangerous when slung by an over-liquored float rider. True fact: my last car’s hood bore the imprints of beads from a particularly enthusiastic reveler who chucked an entire, sealed plastic bag of them at me while I drove through the French Quarter to deliver a home baked king cake. Speaking of which…

Celebrational Diabetes

King cake, alcohol, mixed drinks, cheap street food, they all do a number on you, and that number is 130mg/dL (elevated blood sugar). Doctors recommend regular intake of low-sugar, high-protein foods, like red beans or gumbo, to stabilize your glucose and keep your good times rolling. Carnival is a marathon, not a sprint!

Choking hazard: King Cake Babies

There’s a reason German Kinder Surprise Eggs are contraband in the United States: the 1938 Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act illegal prohibits the enclosure of non-edible items within packaged foods. Of course, New Orleans has never had a real fondness for the rule of law. In every king cake, you’ll find that someone has stuffed a plastic baby Jesus. Make sure that your slice doesn’t have a toy Son of God before you chomp all the way down… and if it does bear a tiny savior, know that you are officially on the hook for bringing the king cake to the next party.

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