Standing in their own float, the rookies threw beads to unsuspecting fans. Perhaps those Black folks visiting Mardi Gras this year will take some time to think about this history.
Schools are out on Fat Tuesday, and city offices are closed for the day.
Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, for many Christians a period of reflection or fasting ahead of Easter.
"Any opportunity we have to bring joy and merriment to the community is just a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate", says Ann Marie Leblanc, program director for the Hays Senior Center. While some kids get excited about that, others not so much.
"It's a family thing down here".
The cooks at the banquet center prepared traditional Mardi Gras meals, including jambalaya and cajun chicken, for the students to eat. Then they are going to get a good spot outside a po'boy sandwich shop to watch the Zulu parade.
More than 100 students were at the event Tuesday afternoon, enjoying the Mardi Gras music and cuisine. The celebration arrived in New Orleans soon after its founding in 1718.
They also poured Abita, a Louisiana brand beer. For her, the fun was in the people-watching. "Bay St. Louis is like the best place to come and that's why we came down here, even though it's not the biggest parade". Another, a juvenile boy, was shot in the leg and is in stable condition. Michael Harrison said a fight broke out in the area, and gunfire "erupted" as people were trying to break up the fight. A man who police believe was shot twice was rushed to the hospital. His condition is unknown.
Krewe of Endymion started in 1967 and draws thousands from Mid-City neighborhoods to help kick off its festivities.
Just over an hour later, a second shooting occurred along the Mardi Gras parade route, resulting in one person dead, according to WGNO-TV.
Rex is New Orleans' oldest parading Carnival group.
The Half-Fast Walking Club, organized by the late clarinetist Pete Fountain, rolls and strolls to the Quarter from the Commander's Palace restaurant.
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