Katrina Can’t Blow Mardi Gras 2006 Away!

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 17, 2006 — Parades, king cakes, beads, masks, stars, floats and millions of visitors will return to the streets of New Orleans as the city welcomes visitors back after enduring the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Despite Katrina’s fury, residents and businesses of the Crescent City have fought back and are determined to throw a successful Mardi Gras. More homes than ever are decorated and flags are flying from seemingly every home in the city. “It will take a lot more than a little storm like Katrina to knock down the spirit of the New Orleans people,” longtime resident Rhonda Fitzmorris said.

Although Mardi Gras will go on, the festivities will be a bit different than in years past. Parades will be packed into an 11-day schedule from February 18 to 28 and all uptown New Orleans parade krewes (clubs) will march along the same route down St. Charles Avenue.

The annual Mardi Gras celebration begins in earnest with five parades back-to-back starting at noon on Saturday, February 18 with the Krewe of Pontchartrain. The new compressed schedule benefits parade-goers by allowing them to enjoy more parades in a shorter length of time while the city’s already-overworked police, emergency services and sanitation crews can focus their efforts along one parade route.

Hollywood stars hit the town again this year, with Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd serving as co-Grand Marshals of Endymion. Batman Michael Keaton will lead the Krewe of Bacchus.

In other exciting news, 20 members of the famed Zulu tribe of warriors will travel from Africa to lead the Krewe of Zulu procession at 8 a.m. on Mardi Gras Day, February 28. The famed Krewe of Rex follows the Zulu tribe at 10 a.m. followed by three more parades. Get a complete schedule and a printable parade route map at http://www.mardigrasday.com.

Mardigrasday.com can help visitors sketch each day’s schedule and help plan a wild – or not-so-wild – party for the times before, after and in-between. The site features information on all kinds of authentic New Orleans food to give parties a true Cajun flair. Drink recipes even come courtesy from a French Quarter bartender.

Of course, Mardi Gras doesn’t have to be all about beads, pastries, plastic babies and mystic krewes. The history of Mardi Gras offers a fascinating look at how an event that began as a small parade of revelers on horseback in 1837 has grown to one of the greatest free parties in the world. Educators can visit http://www.mardigrasday.com. for a full week of lesson plans for any grade level, K-12.

Don’t bounce all over the Internet looking for Mardi Gras information. Find everything needed to get ready for Mardi Gras – hotel reservations, beads, masks and more – athttp://www.mardigrasday.com. The Big Easy awaits.

For further information, contact:
Carol Blake
Mardigrasday.com at 985.898.2158