Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Rolling out Mardi Gras




Cheering crowds, festive parades, and glittering beads dressed the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, Tuesday as the city celebrated Mardi Gras. Best known as a festival of merriment and celebration before the start of Lent, Mardi Gras literally translates to “Fat Tuesday” in French. Traditionally, Fat Tuesday was celebrated by eating rich, fatty foods before the start of Lent, also known as Ash Wednesday, but today it’s also an excuse to "laissez les bon temps roulez," or letting the good times roll. Although Mardi Gras is commonly associated with New Orleans in the United States, it is also a festival celebrated around the world and is internationally known as Carnival.


iReporter Eileen Romero, a lifelong resident of New Orleans, shared her Mardi Gras photos with CNN. Despite popular belief, the days leading up to Mardi Gras are full of events for all ages. Romero described the first weekend of the festival as a truly family event.


"The streets are lined with children -- as well as adults -- yelling for beads, stuffed animals, or anything else the riders on the floats may be throwing," she said.


The festival goes a lot deeper than just fun and partying, Romero says. Images of satire can be found on decorative floats, such as those in the parades put on by the Krewes of Chaos and Muses.


Local residents are not the only ones partaking in the celebration. Romero says that many of her friends from all over the country travel to Louisiana to celebrate Mardi Gras.


Even celebrities join in the fun. Romero captured a photo of CNN’s own Anderson Cooper, who was part of the Endymion parade on Sunday, and Romero even managed to snag an autograph.


"I was so in shock I didn’t even get a photo of him signing my cap," she said.  Did you attend Mardi Gras? Please send videos and photographs to share your festive experience.

March 9, 2011
Click to view Stefanie1967's profile

in Baden , Germany its called Fasching!

and im Ruhrgebiet Germany is the best Carneval/Fasching :)

March 9, 2011
Click to view luvnola's profile

Thanks Jareen!!!  The good times were definitely rolling!!!!  :-)

March 16, 2011
Click to view wecanfix's profile

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