Mardi Gras balls are formal parties displayed by each krewe for the krewe members and guests. A king, queen, duke, and maids are all chosen to introduce themselves to the audience. The dinner for the queen usually takes place after the carnival ball. Most balls are private.
In the early 1800s there were between 50 and 60 balls during the Mardi Gras season. Balls were more popular than parades in the early 1800s because of the dirty streets due to the lack of drainage in the city. After 1827 all balls were restricted to members and their guests only.