Some people enjoying the Mardi Gras celebration at The Palace Grill in Santa Barbara were caught off guard when they learned the dates. I remember going to parades and seeing the second-liners fill the streets, catching beads thrown to us from the floats above and being picked up in the wave of bounce music, jazz bands and dancers.
Mardi Gras is when you come across alligators - or maybe dragons - from Boston taking photos of two-headed dragons from Wichita, Kansas, in the French Quarter.
More than 70 Mardi Gras themed floats will travel to the Briscoe King Pavilion, featuring a host of colorful characters in some of the best costumes you'll see this side of New Orleans.
"I'll be sitting on a throne in true king regalia", says Dr. R. Marcus Vennart, the 63-year-old Las Vegas obstetrician who proves that Mel Brooks was dead-on (as if there was any doubt): It's good to be the king. "We just love to come over to the carnival season to fellowship".
This is the 29th year of the Krewe of Hebe Parade. The three colors gold, purple and green represent power, justice and faith. Other Southern cities, especially with French heritage, such as Mobile, Ala., also mark Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras Southeast Texas officials say that played a factor in lower crowd numbers this year.
Each student partakes in a swing dance lesson from Fred Astaire Dance Studio teachers, eats authentic creole cuisine and decorates a king cake.
CAS freshman Charlotte Dankwah is not celebrating the festival this year.
That means Mardi Gras is all about eating and celebrating in excess before the period of moderation and self-denial begins - hence the English translation of Mardi Gras - "Fat Tuesday". If you get the munchies, the kitchen is offering some New Orleans favorites, like cajun jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish popcorn. "I even know of a few events happening in [New York City] to celebrate, but I'm just too busy to go". "It's the big party before the Lenten season, the ultimate blowout before you give something up for  days". According to New Orleans Online, the festival came to the U.S. in 1699, via the French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville and his crew who made their way up the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico.
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