Attendance to Mardi Gras balls depends on the character of the event; some krewes host balls that offer tickets to the general public, allowing those who can afford tickets to attend the ball, while some of the more old-fashioned balls are open only to an exclusive crowd of aristocrats. Balls are just one option for post-parade Mardi Gras celebration.

Some of the oldest krewes of the New Orleans Carnival season no longer participate in public parades, but they do host balls. Some of the more exclusive balls are masked balls, while others serve as debutante balls in addition to a seasonal celebration.