Carnival Wrap-up: Rays of Light Shine on Mardi Gras 2013
NEW ORLEANS, MAR 21 — It was a wonderful sight when the sun finally cut through the thick clouds that covered the sky during most of the Mardi Gras festivities. Bad weather had threatened to cancel many of the parades, however, in true New Orleans style, thousands of loyal parade-goers packed the sidewalks for miles, waiting patiently as one forecast after another predicted the worst. Despite fog settling in some areas of town and the riverfront, no amount of rain could stop the show, and the floats, marching bands, and the ever-present Clydesdales happily wound their way through the city.
The 2013 Zulu King was New Orleans native Cedric Givens. He and his queen were ceremoniously toasted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, while the King of Rex, local attorney William Hines, was given the key to the city. This old tradition put the city in the hands of the King for 24 hours until Carnival ended and Lent began. Singer Kelly Clarkson reigned as Grand Marshal of Endymion, and actor Gary Sinise from “Forrest Gump” and “CSI: NY” was official royalty for Harry Connick Jr.’s iconic Krewe of Orpheus.
As in most years, attendance was strong and a noticeable police presence across town ensured that revelers were well-behaved and safe. According to a survey conducted by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the hotel occupancy rate was 97 percent, only slighty lower than the 99 percent occupancy during the previous Superbowl weekend.
Looking forward to 2014, Mardi Gras will start 27 days later than in 2013, however, hotels have already started filling up in anticipation of yet another incredible year. Complete information about Mardi Gras 2014 is available at www.mardigrasday.com.
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