Crowds gather to watch the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans (Flickr: PhelanRiessen)
Many expect a larger than normal turnout for Mardi Gras 2011


Officials in New Orleans say they expect Mardi Gras 2011 to attract the largest crowds to the city since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.


A historically late end to Carnival Season provides a unique situation for New Orleans. Fat Tuesday 2011 falls on March 8, the latest date for the holiday in over 150 years.


The resulting combination of warm weather and party-seeking spring breakers is sure to provide an influx of first-time revelers. During a typical celebration, nearly 1 million people pack the streets of the city.


A 2009 study from Tulane University estimated that Mardi Gras generated nearly $322 million for the New Orleans' economy. City officials are optimistic that they will surpass that number this year.


Source: MSNBC

Flickr: PhelanRiessen

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