This carnival is the Crescent City's biggest party of the year and one of the best-known celebrations in the world. Taking place annually on Fat Tuesday (the day before Lent on the Christian calendar) and the days leading up to it parties begin in the morning and last until midnight. The parades are put on by social clubs called Krewes. Beautiful floats with costumed Krewe members roll down the streets all day long for a week throwing all kinds of things from the floats to the watching crowds. The most cherished of the "throws" is a golden coconut which can be had at the Zulu parade on Mardi Gras day. Mardi Gras is also known for drunken revelry and streets overflowing with people. If you want to avoid some of the worst of it make sure you go to some of the uptown parades instead. Please note that prices for everything from hotel rooms to food go through the roof so bring lots of money and make reservations up to a year in advance.
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