Don’t make Mardi Gras an occasion for repentance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mardi Gras means many things to those who participate in the revelry — floats and marching bands, beads and doubloons, music and mayhem and, for many, drinking and partying.

Unfortunately, it is those last two that often turn the celebration into a nightmare.

There are many factors to take into account when deciding to imbibe during Carnival.

Mardi Gras festivities usually involve much walking and moving about, and although the weather should be pleasant on Fat Tuesday, all this activity can still leave one overheated. This coupled with excessive alcohol intake can leave one dehydrated or worse, so don’t forget to intersperse beers or cocktails with water to stay hydrated and healthy.

Secondly, alcohol impairs judgment, and that can have more serious effects than embarrassing YouTube videos. Criminals often target intoxicated people because they are easy marks.

Also, someone under the influence of alcohol is more likely to find themselves in a questionable situation or locale because they may be more daring or just plain lost.

Lastly, if one is driving, it is imperative that they consume no alcohol, both for their own safety and the safety of others. Mardi Gras is the number one holiday in the state for accidents involving impaired drivers. For this reason, state and local police are stepping up efforts to crack down on drunk driving this Carnival season.

So go out and enjoy this holiday, a holiday that sets this region apart from the rest of the nation, but do so responsibly. Don’t make Ash Wednesday a more somber occasion than it already is.