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Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2011, let the good times roll!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Today ends Carnival season in New Orleans, a two-week festival of parades and partying in leading up to the Christian Lenten period of sacrifice, and culminating in Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday and known to New Orleans residents as Mardi Gras. There are other Fat Tuesday celebrations throughout the world such as Rio's Carnival, it's most famous in America as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where around 1 million people travel each year to don colorful costumes, angle for beads, and drink out of "go-cups". There is no single official Mardi Gras, but rather many public krewes who organize the parade floats and parties, often choosing a theme each year, and ride on the float tossing out beads. The revelry ends at midnight when Ash Wednesday - and some massive clean-up - begins.

Check out our gallery from Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2011. Want more Mardi Gras? Grab a slice of king cake, read our tips on how to make the most of Mardi Gras -- and still remember it next year, and see more photos on AOL News.

[Photos courtesy Associated Press]

Filed under: Festivals and Events, Photos, North America, United States

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