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Carnival apps help navigate the crowds

Thousands of apps, so little time.

With the intensive final five days of Carnival upon us, we offer a few Mardi Gras apps that might make the mayhem a little more navigable. Enjoy.

photo (1)WDSU Parade Tracker

How did we live without parade trackers? They entered my life just a few years ago, but gone (and unmissed) forever are the days of waiting hours in frigid or rainy weather in order not to miss the parade. Several purveyors offer parade-tracking services, but I find the WDSU free app best meets my needs. It has real-time information on where the head of the parade is located, as well as GPS pinpoint location of where YOU are. Sometimes, in New Orleans at Carnival time, that can be an issue ...

Air PnP

It may well be the ultimate Carnival quest: a nearby bathroom when you need one (preferably a clean one). This app tracks the rest stops for you, even including portalets along the parade routes. It also lets you know if you'll have to pay to pee.

photo (2)NOLA Transit

It costs $1.99, but if this transportation app lives up to the billing, it's a small price to pay for up-to-the-minute information about where streetcars and buses can be found. We haven't tested this one, but it promises that it has been updated for the 2015 Carnival season. It not only offers step-by-step interactive directions for getting from here to there (always a challenge during these five crowd-heavy days), but also tracks real-time bus and streetcar locations on the map.

Mardigras.com

This new app from Nola.com has parade news, schedules and updates, weather alerts, photos and videos and live streams from select parades. You can also sign up for push notifications with alerts about Mardi Gras news breaks, parade breakdowns and the like.

Ride apps

Nabbing a cab during Carnival is not unlike buying a lottery ticket: You keep on trying because you just know your luck is going to change; both work about the same percentage of the time. Among apps that allow you to (try to) call a ride are Uber X, Livery Car, Nawlins Cab, and NOLA Car Service. Coming soon is Taxicab App. Meanwhile, see NOLA Transit above.

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]