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Mardi Gras Live Stream

 World Events, February , New Orleans Mardi Gras
 

Event Information: Mardi Gras is a huge celebration right across the US, and nowhere more so than in Louisiana, where New Orleans provides the main focus of events.

New Orleans Mardi Gras  Louisiana, is a Carnival celebration well-known throughout the world. The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany. It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls), and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season; at one time "coming out" parties for young women at débutante balls were timed for this season.

Celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the day before Ash Wednesday. Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the season. In the final week of Carnival, many events large and small occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities. The parades in New Orleans are organized by Carnival krewes.

The celebration of Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers. The first record of the holiday being celebrated in Louisiana was at the mouth of the Mississippi River in what is now lower Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, on March 3, 1699. Iberville, Bienville, and their men celebrated it as part of an observance of Catholic practice. Each year the Mardi Gras (or Carnival) season starts on January 6, also known as Twelfth Night. The Twelfth Night Revelers, one of Carnival's oldest Krewes, holds a masked ball each year to mark the occasion. Many of Carnival's oldest groups such as the Elves of Oberon and the High Priests of Mithras hold masked balls, but do not parade in public.

The parade season starts off some three weekends before Mardi Gras Day with the Krewe du Vieux parade. There is usually at least one parade every night starting two Fridays before Mardi Gras. Uptown, the Zulu parade rolls first, followed by the Rex parade, which both end on Canal Street. A number of smaller parading organizations with "truck floats" follow the Rex parade.

Numerous smaller parades and walking clubs also parade around the city. The Jefferson City Buzzards, the Lyons Club, Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club and the KOE all start early in the day Uptown and make their way to the French Quarter with at least one jazz band. At the other end of the old city, the Society of Saint Anne journeys from the Bywater through Marigny and the French Quarter to meet Rex on Canal Street. The Pair-O-Dice Tumblers rambles from bar to bar in Marigny and the French Quarter from noon to dusk. Various groups of Mardi Gras Indians, divided into uptown and downtown tribes, parade in their finery.

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