It's Mardi Gras Time in New Orleans!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of those fun events that everyone should attend at least once in their lifetime! A combination of statewide parties, celebrations, parades and just plain craziness, Mardi Gras is truly an event not to be missed.

The 2017 Mardi Gras parades are about to start on February 11, so there's still plenty of time to partake in this years' festivities as the celebrations don't hit a fever pitch until Fat Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

So, what's Mardi Gras all about? Let's take a look... Organized parade groups, known as krewes, ride high atop their flamboyant floats while throws (trinkets, necklaces, cups & coveted commemorative doubloons) are flung out into the flailing arms of the rambunctious crowds. It's not uncommon for one krewe of only 200 hundred members to have over 3,000 parade participants!

Photo: Pat Garin
During Mardi Gras, parade royalty will attend various bal masque (masquerade parties). King cakes will be savoured - they're a traditional brioche pastry baked in a crown-like circle, decorated in Mardi Gras colors, and with a plastic baby (or prize) inside - the lucky person who finds the baby is the next person to hold a king cake party! Mass quantities of alcohol will be consumed. And finally, Rex, the King of Mardi Gras Carnival, will be crowned on Fat Tuesday. 

Check out these fun facts about Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
  • more than 500,000 King Cakes are sold during Mardi Gras
  • Carnival colors are purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power)
  • the oldest Krewe of Comus was founded in 1857
  • 95% of the areas' 35,000 hotel rooms will be full!
  • the largest Mardi Gras bead producer sells 1 billion strings each year!
  • just prior to Fat Tuesday, the super parades (krewes such as Endymion & Bacchus) will toss 1.5 million cups & 2.5 million doubloons into the parade crowds

Mardi Gras 2017 celebrations will culminate until the grand finale on Fat Tuesday, February 28, 20167 when the non-stop partying, nakedness, and crazy fun on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter comes to an abrupt end at midnight. And it truly does. At midnight, the street cleaners come out, as do the police, to remove anyone who's lingering - signalling the end of another Mardi Gras season.

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

For more information on Mardi Gras festivities including the 2017 Parade Schedule, visit the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.


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