Mardi Gras is one big holiday in New Orleans, it means music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement! Everyone is wearing purple, green and gold, some even adorned themselves with the long beads they caught from the beautiful floats. People sit on the ground throwing balls, playing music, having picnic while they watch the crowds walk by between parades.
During Mardi Gras, all of the businesses and roads are practically shut down -- people are walking everywhere and meeting new friends. People are dressed in crazy costumes, kids are everywhere, and the air is oozing with fun and excitement!
The highlights of the festivities are the Mardi Gras Parade Krewes where one can get treasure items being thrown from different floats like anodized aluminums that depict the parade theme on one side and the Krewe's emblem on the other called doubloons, cups, long pearl beads and stuffed animals.
Each year there are dozens of parades in New Orleans and the surrounding area, and this year is no different. Parades begin Sunday, February 5, 2012 and continue until Mardi Gras day, February 21, 2012.
Each Mardi Gras Parade Krewe has a unique history and theme. Some have been around for decades, while others have been in existence for just a few years. Krewe of ZULU is
well known for its interesting history and "golden nugget" (coconut) parade throws. Mardi Gras Indians is about beautiful beaded and feathered costumes they hand design throughout the entire year. Krewe of Bacchus features national celebrity monarchs each year, and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. Krewe of Rex is the origin of many traditions of Mardi Gras, including its colors of purple, green and gold, as well as the collectible doubloon coins and Krewe of Endymion quickly emerged as one of Carnival's 'Super-Krewes' in 1974 with the inclusion of more floats and celebrity guests.
Usually days have several parades booked back to back, so whether you are on St. Charles Avenue with the family, catching beads from a Central Business District balcony or enjoying the floats on Canal before a night in the French Quarter, plan for a day of Mardi Gras magic!