Countdown to Mardi Gras: This year, 7 weeks of festivities

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Christmas season is officially drawing to a close, but it’s just the start of the season leading up to New Orleans’ biggest street party: Mardi Gras.

Some walking parades and streetcar-riding groups will touch off revelry that climaxes on Fat Tuesday itself – Feb. 25 of this year. The start is always Jan. 6, Epiphany. Mardi Gras moves with Ash Wednesday.

In between are loads of parades in New Orleans and around the state, some with celebrity riders. Nearly all paraders toss plastic beads and other trinkets to the crowd, and a nonprofit is recycling a record 173 tons of those items.

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