Mardi Gras is raging on today in New Orleans as the famous party city marks the final day of the Carnival season before the Lenten period begins.
This Fat Tuesday, the weather is hot and sunny and plenty of city native and visitors are out celebrating the city’s festive traditions, some of which have been observed for hundreds of years.
Street parties and parades stretch through the city’s historic French Quarter, up Bourbon Street, all the way into the more residential areas of the city.
Revelers danced on balconies and watched as the St. Anne Parade marched by.
Virtually all were clad in colorful outfits, many in specific costumes that ranged from mushrooms and chefs, to the Chinese spy balloon.
Revelers sporting kinky, colorful costumes and what appear to be alcoholic beverages celebrate in the streets at the La Societe de Saint Anne Parade on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans revelers walk the streets of the French Quarter in costume as the Chinese Spy Balloon on Fat Tuesday
Mardi Gras attendees look out over the St. Anne Parade on February 21, 2023
Revelers dressed in traditional purple, green and gold took to the streets for back-to-back parades Tuesday morning.
Festivities begin at the crack of dawn, when the North Side Skill & Bone Gang, donning skeleton outfits, wake up the city’s Treme neighborhood to remind everyone of their own mortality.
After that, the theme of the day becomes ‘let the good times roll,’ and celebrations can be found occurring in just about every corner of the city.
At midnight, there is a ceremonial clearing of Bourbon Street, as the festival period officially comes to an end. It officially began on January 6 – the 12th day after Christmas, known as King’s Day.
In order to keep crowds under control and safety a priority, the New Orleans police department has been bolstered this year by 125 state troopers and another 170 law enforcement officers from around the state.
On Sunday night, during Carnival celebrations, five people – including a young girl – were shot around 9.30pm.
One person was detained at the scene, though the gunman’s motives remain unclear.
Three males and two females were injured in the shooting, police said. One of the victims was a young girl. All five victims were rushed to a local hospital where one is in critical condition and four are stable.
The Krewe of Bacchus parade, which is an annual Mardi Gras tradition, was temporarily halted as police roped off part of the area and canvassed for evidence.
Police said two guns were recovered from the scene after the suspect was detained.
Fat Tuesday marks the final day of the Carnival season before Ash Wednesday, when the Lenten period begins
King Steven LaChute tosses doubloons as the Krewe of Argus rolls to the theme ‘Argus is Golden,’ during its 50th anniversary Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023
Queen Allison Langhetee waves as the Krewe of Argus rolls to the theme ‘Argus is Golden,’ during its 50th anniversary Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023
A float rider tosses beads during the Krewe of Argus parade Tuesday morning
The Mande Milkshakers perform as the Krewe of Argus rolls to the theme ‘Argus is Golden,’ during its 50th anniversary Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023
Revelers pack Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday below the balcony of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Advertisements for nipple glitter and face paint can be seen in the crowd
Said signs up close on Bourbon Street
A child sits on a man’s shoulders and reaches for a trinket during the Krewe of Argus’s 50th anniversary parade on Tuesday in New Orleans
embers of Mondo Kayo march in the streets during of the French Quarter
A member of the Krewe of Zulu marches through the streets as part of the popular parade on Tuesday morning
7 A member of the crowd poses for a photo with a member of The Krewe of Zulu as they march through the streets as a part of Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 21 February 2023
The Krewe of Zulu marches through the streets as a part of Fat Tuesday
A woman dances in the street as a part of Mondo Kayo during Fat Tuesday of Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans
Avant Garde displays of fashion are always on display during the weekslong celebration that culminated on Tuesday
People in costume sit on a float in the 2023 Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade during a Mardi Gras Parade. Zulu Krewe and social club are one of the best established krewes still marching each year
Revelers catch beads from a float in the 2023 Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade during a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 21, 2023
A float rider tosses festive trinkets during the Krewe of Argus parade
Shot of revelers catching beads as they stand on the sidelines of a parade
During the weekend that preceded the climactic celebration on Tuesday, embattled New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell was caught on tape flipping the bird at a crowd of passing revelers.
The short clip shows the Democratic leader, 50, cheering from stands at Gallier Hall downtown, appearing to cheer on in support of the Krewe of Tucks parade before raising her middle finger to the crowd.
The mayor appears to shout at the floats passing by her: ‘I love you. God bless you. I’ll see you. Happy Mardi Gras. Enjoy your ride. So glad your ride was good. Love you.’
It is unclear exactly what provoked Cantrell’s rude reaction and a statement from the mayor’s office released Sunday evening reads: ‘Mardi Gras is a time where satire and jest are on full display. The city has been enjoying a safe and healthy Carnival and is looking forward to continuing the celebration on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras.’
Cantrell has faced a wave of criticism over the past few months, including for using $30,000 in taxpayer funds for first class tickets to Europe.