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Your Mardi Gras in 5 apps

Editor’s Note: The following series “Get to know Mardi Gras!” is a week-long series curated by Gabriela Taras as a part of the Digital Research Internship Program in partnership with ViaNolaVie. The DRI Program is a Newcomb Insitute technology initiative for undergraduate students combining technology skillsets, feminist leadership, and the digital humanities. This year Mardi Gras lands on February the 25th. So, this curation is dedicated to Mardi Gras shenanigans in New Orleans. This curation will help you become familiar with the traditions, culture, and history that have made Mardi Gras what it is today & how it shaped our city!

Here are a few suggested apps to be downloaded so you can be readily prepared for this Mardi Gras season! The Parade Tracker app is pivotal to finding the perfect place for you and your friends to stake out and catch beads. And make sure to utilize the Find Your Friends app so you can meet up with and keep track of all of your friends! This article was originally published on Feb. 27, 2014 so some applications may be out of date.

Mardi Gras is here! As we all know, Mardi Gras craziness (mostly the good kind) comes with its logistical glitches. While we can’t guarantee that you won’t encounter some frustrating predicaments over the long weekend, we can introduce you to 5 essential apps that will get you out of sticky scenarios you’ll likely find yourself in.

Scenario 1: “We have our daiquiris and a six pack, but, wait, where’s that parade?” 

1) Parade Tracker Apps: Good for both when you don’t know where the parade rolls (hey, it happens) and when you’ve been waiting at Lee Circle for hours and the parade still nowhere to be found. WDSU and WWL are our favorites; in addition to parade routes, they indicate time changes, as well as periodic weather reports.


Scenario 2: “If I don’t get to a bathroom within two minutes…” 

2) AirPnP: We all know finding any bathroom during Mardi Gras is a process; finding a decently clean one can send you on the Odyssey. AirPnP has launched a web-based app (meaning don’t go looking for it in the app store) that will help you find and rate available bathrooms along the parade route. This technology will literally save your butt.


Scenario 3: “Excuse me officer, I am lost and all alone.” 

3) Find My Friends: Unless you and your family and friends travel in packs wearing child-leashes that each other holds on to, at some point during the Gras, someone is going to get separated from the group. Cell service along the parade route typically ranges from spotty to nonexistent, so often times you need text and phone alternatives as a means to find the stragglers. Find My Friends allows you to access a map with all of your friends’ (who have also downloaded the app) exact locations.


Scenario 4: “This traffic is so bad, I swear if it doesn’t start moving I’m abandoning my car on the side of the road and walking home.” 

4) Beat The Traffic: If you need to get behind the wheel over the next few days, this app will help you (as much as anything could) get where you are going with its real-time traffic and accident reports.

*Note: Unfortunately this app does not account for traffic caused by drunk pedestrians.


Scenario 5: “Do I need another drink?” and/or “Can I drive home?” 

5) Webroot Sobriety TestIf you need to ask, probably “no” — on both accounts. However, if you need a confirmation “no,” this free app includes a series of tasks, such as a reaction test, a balance test, and “color coherency” game, to determine the user’s current ability to coherently function. The app then combines the results from three games to yield a percentage drunk it estimates you are.

*Note: If you are by nature an uncoordinated person, you’re going to get a very “drunk” reading every time. We can’t win them all.


Now, just don’t forget to charge those smartphones!


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