New Orleans' Mardi Gras packs festive punch, economic boost
NEW ORLEANS (REUTERS) - Revellers in New Orleans celebrated Carnival and Mardi Gras with parades, giant floats and parties that were expected to attract about a million people to the city and its historic French Quarter and generate an estimated US$300 million (S$371.4 million).
Eight years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, local organizers of the celebrations predicted Carnival 2013 would be one of the best ever.
"People are just amazed by Carnival in New Orleans," said Mr Ed Muniz, the 72-year-old founder and captain of Krewe of Endymion, one of the largest parades during Mardi Gras, whose celebrity grand marshals have included Britney Spears and Dolly Parton.
Pop star Kelly Clarkson has the honour this year.