New Orleans, USA
Krewe'sing the Big Easy
NEW ORLEANS (CNN) -- In New Orleans, Carnaval could be defined as "fun, taken very, very seriously." In several Louisiana parishes, as a matter of fact, Mardi Gras is a legal holiday.
Carnaval here is laden with (sometimes esoteric) tradition -- dating as far back as the early 1700s -- but you won't notice many locals getting too uptight about it. After all, the point is to "laissez les bons temps rouler" (let the good times roll), and that they do.
Krewes play a major role in New Orleans' celebrations. These infamous social clubs begin their planning as much as a full year in advance, and finance their elaborate floats and parades through dues and fund-raising. During the parades, they shower the crowds with cups, beads and other baubles.
The inner circle of the elite krewe Rex (founded in 1872) chooses a "King of Carnival" -- New Orleans' highest honor. The krewe of Bacchus always has a celebrity as its king; last year, it was comedian Drew Carey.
The party can, of course, get a little rowdy -- but the wildest of it is generally confined to the Quarter. For a more subdued approach, head uptown, where families congregate to watch the parades.
Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.