New Orleans Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 6:15pm

More than 700,000 people are expected to fill the streets of New Orleans this Mardi Gras; a clear sign that America hasn’t let the failing economy rain on their parade.

Despite this year’s economic crunch, hundreds of thousands of Big Easy visitors have only one thing on the brain: to let the good times roll in! Fat Tuesday kicked off with the 100th Anniversary Zulu Parade celebration. As music, bright colored floats, and of course beads take over the streets of New Orleans, some folks admit there is a visible shortage in participants and visitors in the French Quarter.

One of the reasons why so many are determined to celebrate perhaps is to get away from the hardships felt my today’s sour economy. Al Groos of Royal Sonesta Hotel says, “We’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm from people that are here. I always get a sense that people are tired of looking at the news and they want to come out and have a good time and they want to enjoy themselves and live and this is a great place to do that.”

On a more serious note: several people were shot this afternoon along the Rex Parade route in the uptown area. So far no life threatening injuries have been reported. New Orleans police say two suspects are in custody and have recovered the weapon. This is the first reported incident this carnival season.