[Dixielandjazz] Mardi Gras 2006

Len Nielsen lennielsen at telus.net
Thu Oct 13 10:36:48 PDT 2005

Some good news!!!

Len Nielsen
travel news
Thursday, Oct 13, 2005 	
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Mardi Gras will go on, New Orleans organizers say

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Mardi Gras organizers promised Wednesday to roll out 
the city's signature celebration in February despite the widespread 
destruction caused by hurricane Katrina.

Tourism officials, float builders and parade hosts appeared before the 
city council to insist the annual pre-Lent celebration, part family 
party, part Bacchanalian blowout, returns this winter. "We have to do 
this," said Councilwoman Jacquelyn Clarkson. "We can't afford to miss a 

Mardi Gras organizers said about 25 groups are planning to stage their 
parades, about a half-dozen fewer than normal. Besides that, they 
offered no specifics on scaling back the celebration that culminates on 
Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 28 next year.

Councilman Eddie Sapir suggested the city ease rules on private funding 
for next year's Mardi Gras, which could pave the way for corporate 
sponsorships and possibly draw millions of dollars.

"No one wants Mardi Gras commercialized," Sapir said. "But if we want to 
have it this year, we may need good, clean-soap sponsors for an infusion 
of dollars."

Mardi Gras generates as much as $1 billion US in economic activity and 
the celebrations draw an estimated one million people each year.

Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and 
Visitors Bureau, said staging Mardi Gras next year, no matter the odds, 
will be an important step in the city's financial recovery.

"Not only is this going to be the opening of the city in many ways, but 
also our economics," he said. "A lot of those things that go to support 
Mardi Gras also go to support conventions."

Naaman Stewart, vice-president of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 
one of the largest parade organizations, said the revelry would be 
important psychologically for city residents.

"Things are not normal," Stewart said. "But bringing Mardi Gras back 
will help people to start normalizing things."

© The Canadian Press, 2005


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