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Mardi Gras Parade Floats & Fun!

This weekend we experienced a few Mardi Gras parades going on around town. If you're wondering about Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Parades; Carnival, which is Latin for "kiss your flesh goodbye," is a long season between Christmas and Lent. Carnival officially begins in New Orleans on the Feast of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night - Jan. 6 - and continues until the midnight of Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The intervening weeks are filled with balls, banquets and other social activities. "Mardi Gras" (which is French for Fat Tuesday) technically applies only to the day before Ash Wednesday. But "Mardi Gras" is also commonly used to refer to the whole Carnival season, especially the final frenzied two weeks when the most parades occur. If you associate Mardi Gras with nudity, then you should know that as far as nudity goes, it depends on where you're standing. In general, it occurs within the French Quarter. By nudity, I mean the flashing of body parts, either for beads or for other reasons. Which is why they warn people to keep their kids away. But don't go thinking that Mardi Gras offers nothing for kids, there are plenty of parades all over town that are kid friendly! Obviously since we have a 7 year old, we stayed away from Bourbon Street and caught some of the more family oriented parades. These parades boasted elaborate floats, costumes, and marching bands. Natalie, with our help, managed to catch hundreds of beads, plenty of stuffed animals, doubloons (which are coins commissioned for each parade), and plastic cups thrown by the parade Krewes and riders. Although parking was a major pain, we had so much fun, and learned a lot about which parades are the best for viewing for next year. Posted below are some of the hundreds of photos I have. You can also find more info and updates on Mardi Gras here.

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