(Photo courtesy New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau)
Mardi Gras 2006
New Orleans' Mardi Gras, and its bands of parades, krewes, and balls, reminds revelers to "Let the good times roll." But what to do during bad times was the question on everyone's mind after Katrina. To raise morale and declare the Big Easy "open for business," the City of New Orleans went ahead with the festival in February 2006, welcoming about 700,000 attendees. As reported by CNN at the start of the 2006 festival, Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) said, "For us it will be a little bit smaller than prior years. But the way everybody is looking at it here, it's sort of the community planting the flag in the ground saying 'We're back.'" By 2009, Mardi Gras reached pre-Katrina crowd levels of around one million attendees, and this year, the city saw its largest Mardi Gras in 25 years.