Mardi Gras Balls on a Budget: Where to party for $60 or less

Typically, Mardi Gras balls and parties are exclusive to members only and could cost you a pretty penny to attend. However, there are a select few that welcome the public to join in on the fun and festivities surrounding Carnival.

Here are some Carnival balls, including some non-traditional ones, that you can attend without breaking the bank.

Societe Des Champs Elysee's Desire Twelfth Night Carnival Ball

Saturday, Jan. 6
Tickets: $15 to $20

Following the Societe Des Champs Elysee’s Twelfth Night ride on Saturday, Jan. 6 along the St. Claude Streetcar line, the krewe ends their trip with a masked ball at Siberia. Guests can enjoy the Desire Twelfth Night Carnival Ball from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy music by the Elysian Brass, Gina Forsyth’s Mid City Aces and Caesar Brothers Funk Box, along featured performances by Krewe Des Fleurs, Big Chief Kevin Goodman of The Flaming Arrows and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson. Ticket prices are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. All guests of the ball are required to be in costumes and masks. For those that have not had enough, there will be an after party at Kajun’s Pub.

Visit Website

Krewe of Freret 2018 Black-Tie Ball

Friday, Jan. 12
Tickets: $50

The Krewe of Freret hosts their Black-Tie Ball from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, January 12 at the New Orleans Jazz Market. Tickets are priced at $50 per person and include live entertainment, light bites, beer, wine and specialty cocktails. Proceeds benefit the Son of a Saint Foundation.

Visit Website

Big Wig Ball

Friday, Jan. 12
Tickets: $50 per person, $95 per couple

The second annual Big Wig Ball offers guests a spin on the fashion district of Tokyo with their “HAIRajuku-themed” event on Jan. 12.  The ball features food, drinks, music, a raffle and a wig contest.  Ticket prices are $50 and benefit the New Orleans Opera. Costumes are encouraged and wigs are required.

Visit Website

Krewe de Fu 'Future Laser Attack Masquerade 2018'

Saturday, Jan. 13
Tickets: $25 to $30

Krewe de Fu will host their sixth annual Future Laser Attack Masquerade on Saturday, Jan. 13. Entertainment includes martial arts, burlesque by Cherry Bombshell and Tulip Kisses and interactive installations. Costumes (or at least a mask or face paint) are required for entrance.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Visit Website

610 Stompers Debutante Ball

Friday, Jan. 19
Tickets: $40 to $60 for general admission

In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Stompers are throwing a Toga-themed debutante ball at Mardi Gras World from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Jan. 19. General admission tickets range from $40 to $60 and includes food from more than 30 restaurants, open bar and beer. If you have a little more cash to spare, a patron party proceeds the event with a $100 to $150 price tag. Come dressed in your toga and dancing shoes.

Visit Website

Pussyfooters Blush Ball 2018

Friday, Jan. 19
Tickets: $40 to $60

Popular marching group The Pussyfooters host their annual Blush Ball at Generations Hall on Friday, Jan. 19.  Ticket prices range from $40 to $60, which includes entertainment by the Brassaholics.

Visit Website

Krewe of Tchefuncte Mardi Gras Ball

Saturday, Jan. 20
Tickets: $55

Over on the North Shore, Madisonville’s Krewe of Tchefuncte hosts its annual Mardi Gras Ball from 8 p.m. to midnight with the theme “Krewe of Tchefuncte Celebrates a Pirate’s Life.” Tickets are available for $55 each through the krewe’s website.

Visit Website

Krewe Du Vieux 2018 Ball

Saturday, Jan. 27
Tickets: $40

The mature-themed Krewe Du Vieux marches through the streets of the French Quarter on Saturday, Jan. 27, followed by their annual ball. Tickets to the ball are $40 and are available for sale at Up in Smoke and LA Music Factory.

Visit Website

Krewedelusion's TrySinTennial Bedlam Ball

Saturday, Jan. 27
Tickets: $20 to $40

Krewedelusion hosts their TrySinTennial Bedlam Ball at Ace Hotel immediately following their parade on Saturday, Jan. 27. The ball will explore 300 years of the seven deadly sins. Attendees can dance to the sounds of DJ Tree, watch a drag performance and see burlesque dancing.  Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Ticket packages range from $20 to $40.

Visit Website

Pygmalion Fest 2018

Saturday, Feb. 3
Tickets: $35 for general admission

The Krewe of Pygmalion will host their annual after-parade party, Pygmalion Fest, at the Sugar Mill on Saturday, February 3.  The Molly Ringwalds, Flow Tribe and Big Freedia will perform. General admission tickets are $35. If you can spare extra cash, $100 VIP tickets include food, open bar and a seat.

Visit Website