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.
Krewe of Freret 2018 Black-Tie Ball
Friday, Jan. 12
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.
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.
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.
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.
Krewe of Tchefuncte Mardi Gras Ball
Saturday, Jan. 20
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.
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.
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.