Happy Fat Tuesday, it's Mardi Gras Time in New Orleans!!

Mardi Gras, hailed as the “biggest free show on earth,” begins its reign today throughout Louisiana and the city of New Orleans.  A combination of parties, celebrations, parades, and just plain craziness, Mardi Gras is an event not to be missed.

Krewes (an organized parade group) will ride high atop their flamboyant floats while throws (trinkets, necklaces, cups, and commemorative doubloons) in the traditional royal Carnival colors of purple, green, and gold, will be flung out into the flailing arms of the crowds.  Rex, the King of Mardi Gras Carnival, will be crowned; court ball royalty will attend various bal masque (masquerade parties); King cakes will be savored; and alcohol will be consumed (in mass quantities).
 
Here are some very cool facts about Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  • Over 500,000 King Cakes are sold during Mardi Gras
  • 95% of the areas 30,000 hotel rooms will be full
  • in 1991 alone, one carnival producer sold 41 million strings of Mardi Gras beads
  • during the Mardi Gras super parades of Bacchus and Endymion, 2.5 million doubloons will be thrown into the parade crowds
  • the oldest Krewe is Comus founded in 1857
  • Carnival colors included purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power)
Mardi Gras 2012 celebrations will culminate with the grand finale today, February 21, better known as Fat Tuesday, when the non-stop parties on Bourbon Street will come to a prompt end at midnight.  Happy Fat Tuesday, it's Mardi Gras Time in New Orleans!!

For more information on Mardi Gras, visit New Orleans Tourism.

Photo Credits:
Mardi Gras Float Revelers by Jeff Strout/Courtesy of New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau Inc. ~and~



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