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Mardi Gras has come and gone-what a great holiday for all

22 February 2007

Its Thursday, February 22 and we are just getting things back in order from the terrific 14 days of Carnival. By all accounts, this year’s crowds, estimated at 800,000, signaled that New Orleans is slowly but surely making its way back.

The best part of this season was the weather. For the first time in many years, it did not rain on any of the parade days. The temperature was in the 60’s daytime and around 55 degrees at night. We had mostly sun with a few clouds; just perfect conditions for being out on the parade route.

Here at the Inn we were fortunate to have the opportunity to view all the major parades which were re-routed down St. Charles Avenue for this year. We just can’t describe the wonder of it all. Huge floats, some, several hundred feet in length rolled down the avenue. The larger ones carry up to 80 costumed riders who throw literally tons of beads and favors to the screaming crowds. The elaborate themed monsters are laiden with thousands of lights, neon, moving parts and in some cases puffs of smoke escaping from the noses of dragons and other beasts.

In between floats, there were outstanding marching bands from all over the country, dance troupes, and the torch bearers. The torch tradition dates back to the time when there was no or little street lighting and it was the only way for the parade to be seen at night.

All in all it was great fun for visitors to the city; as far as we know it went off with out a hitch and there were no reported major incidents involving those who came to celebrate. We hope this is yet another step forward for New Orleans and its recovery.?

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