The festivities start bright and early on Fat Tuesday, so get up and make the most of it because Mardi Gras has a "suggested" hard stop at midnight. After the King and Queen of Rex meet, police on horseback will come down Bourbon Street and announce that Mardi Gras is over. Police cars and street cleaners will follow in what looks like a ceremonial procession, so make sure to cheer along with the crowd as a way to thank the city for such a great time. While you can't stay on the street, bars like Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop stay open until one or two in the morning for the folks who aren't quite ready to call it a night. So grab one last purple drink before it's time to return to reality.