Things about Mardi Gras 2011

It’s Mardi Gras time again. With New Orleans events already having begun, and reports of a larger-than-normal crowd ready to rock the Big Easy, Surge Desk decided it was time to get into Carnival mode.
Not versed in the world of Mardi Gras? Surge Desk has you covered on the history and meaning of the big event.
Traced back to its Pagan roots, Mardi Gras most likely sprang out of the pre-Christian celebration known as Lupercalia. As Christianity rose in ancient Rome, the early holiday was incorporated into the fledgling religion as a way to gain converts.
While Mardi Gras celebrations can last from the period between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, the official day falls on the last Tuesday before the beginning of Lent. This year – Mardi Gras is next Tuesday.
The holiday is something of a binge-and-purge ritual. In anticipation of fasting that accompanies Lent – Mardi Gras adherents go all out on Fat Tuesday, eating, drinking and generally having as good a time as is humanly possible before giving up such pleasures.
Catholics in countries across Europe, the Caribbean, South and Central America as well as in select North American cities revel in the Mardi Gras festivities, with each culture shaping the celebration in a unique way. Known as Carnival in several countries, parades, parties and all-around displays of excess can be found on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday.

Things about Mardi Gras 2011
Mardi Gras 2011.

Large crowds are expected to converge on the Soulard neighborhood tomorrow for Mardi Gras festivities.
The party (which some say is among the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the country) gets underway with River City Casino Grand Parade at 11 a.m. tomorrow. St. Louis Police Captain Sam Dotson says the department will have two shifts of about 200 officers working Mardi Gras.
“Inside of that number, we’re going to have about 30 plain clothes police officers and four people from the city’s excise commissioners that are focusing specifically on underage drinking” – Dotson said. “Over the last couple of years we’ve done a lot of good work through education and enforcement to try to curb that underage drinking.”
Dotson says police officers will also be watching for incidents of public urination and lewd conduct at Mardi Gras.

New Orleans. Flight coming into the city are full and a lot of downtown hotels have 100 percent occupancy. The timing of Mardi Gras 2011 has set the city up for some of the largest crowds it has seen in years.
The carnival season is falling during spring break for many college students.
Jessica Santana had just landed at Armstrong International Airport with other college friends. She said she was expecting to witness some wild fun: “Craziness, loudness, not sleeping during the night, so I’m pretty excited.”
“I’ve heard different things, like I’ve heard I’m gonna walk into like the craziest party that I could possibly imagine” – said Mardi Gras Visitor Danny Israel.
But not just spring breakers are pouring into the city. Courtney Moss landed with her toddler daughter. “She’s from Austin, Texas coming for her very first Mardi Gras, can you say Mardi Gras?” she playfully asked her daughter.
“Haven’t been to Mardi Gras in four years, so my birthday is actually tomorrow, so this was all I wanted for my birthday is to bring my daughter to Mardi Gras” – Moss continued.
For the city, it could be a banner Mardi Gras, the biggest crowds in years.

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