Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday, in English). It's the biggest day of the year in New Orleans, and one of the grandest parties in the United States all year.
For those of you who will be traveling down south to properly celebrate February 16 or you'll be throwing a party at home of your own, here are five iPhone apps that would help you out.
1. Discovery Channel Maps: New Orleans: One of the better (and cheaper at only $0.99) tourist guides of New Orleans for the iPhone, the Discovery Channel app includes maps and detailed information on all the major landmarks plus some information about transportation.
2. 90.7 WWOZ FM: Being the official New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, it's only appropriate that you stream and listen to some famous jazz tunes on your mobile Apple device wherever you might be next week.
3. Mardi Gras Guide by Arthur Hardy: (pictured above) Published by a journalist who has covered Mardi Gras celebrations in NOLA for years, it's includes in-depth information about parades and krewes not just in the city but also in surrounding suburbs and towns (and as someone who has seen quite a few outside the city in Metairie, they aren't to be immediately dismissed).
4. New Orleans Mardi Gras Entertainment Guide: Slightly cheaper than the previous app, this entertainment guide has all the important information on bars, parties and live music in the French Quarter and other popular neighborhoods around New Orleans. There's also logistics info like parking, parade times and locations and up-to-date weather info.
5. Mardi Gras (the game): You can bring the Mardi Gras to yourself with this $1.99 application. Basically, as the King of Mardi Gras, toss trinkets and beads to the crowd. The happier their mood is, the more points you get. It's sort of a consolation prize if you aren't able to go, but maybe its fun - or at least something to play while waiting for the bus.
As for some gadgets you shouldn't leave home without? A point-and-shoot camera, for sure, and preferably one that shoots HD video so you don't have to tote another one along. If you're serious about photography and not partying too hard, then bring a DSLR, but beware of large crowds and don't leave it on the table because a drink is bound to spill on it.
And if you're having a party at home, don't forget to order a king cake in time. You'll regret it if you don't.