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New Orleans Revs Up for Mardi Gras Celebration

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MSNBC.com Travel | The beads are ready to be tossed, the costumed crowds are in the mood to party and tourism officials are smiling.

It can only mean one thing: It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans.

“It is the event of the year. It’s our largest, in terms of economic benefit. It is probably the most iconic celebration for the city,” said Jennifer Day-Sully, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About a million people are expected to take part in the festivities over the 12 days leading up to Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 21 this year, Day-Sully said. The city doesn’t break that number down into out-of-town visitors and local attendees.

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PHOTO: Lucas Jackson / © LUCAS JACKSON/Reuters/Corbis

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