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Mardi Gras 2012 Begins

High Heel Shoe Float

This High Heel Shoe Float was featured in the Muses Parade.

The start of each new year means many things to many people. Here in New Orleans, it means Mardi Gras.

As of this writing, bakers throughout the city are pulling out their recipes for King Cakes. These colorful treats appear in stores, restaurants, bakeries and delis on January 6, and are happily consumed until Ash Wednesday. The King Cake is an old tradition, dating from the Middle Ages, and a fun one. Each cake contains a little plastic baby; the person who bites into the baby is supposed to buy the next King Cake, or host a party. It’s just one more way to ensure that the good times roll.

Fat Tuesday is on February 21 in 2012. That may seem a distant date, but celebrations begin well before then. The first parade will be held on Saturday, February 4 (that would be the adult-only Krewe du Vieux, in the French Quarter). More follow February 5th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and then daily from the 15th until the 21st. Parades are held Uptown, in the Metairie, and elsewhere. They celebrate King Arthur, Dionysus, Muses, Chaos, and more.

Now is an excellent time to make your Mardi Gras travel plans. Visit our “Find a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast” and browse by neighborhood, by special, or by special interest. New Orleans Bed and Breakfasts tend to fill during Mardi Gras, so book your room soon.

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