You girls look too cute! Happy Mardi Gras
While Mardi Gras is fun, if you intend to soak up the culture and food which make New Orleans great, I suggest avoiding it at all costs. Most of the restaurants you'll want to visit will either have limited menus or will be pushing food out faster than normal which impacts quality. Because of the crowds and parades, it will be harder to get around and appreciate the history, architecture and culture of the city. I suggest coming down after Mardi Gras and before May since it does get awfully hot here. If you come down a few weeks before Mardi Gras, you'll get to enjoy a more authentic New Orleans experience since the crowds really aren't that bad outside of Bourbon Street.