Biggest Party in the World Returns to New Orleans

Revellers decked out in traditional purple, green and gold came out to party this week in New Orleans’ first full-dress Mardi Gras since 2020.

The fun included back-to-back parades across the city and marches through the French Quarter and beyond, with face masks required only in indoor public spaces.

Parade routes are shorter than usual, because there aren’t enough police for the standard ones, even with officers working 12-hour shifts as they always do on Mardi Gras and the days leading up to the end of the Carnival season.

But with 92 percent of the city’s adults at least partly vaccinated, parades and other festivities are back on after a season without them.

Costumed partiers gathered before dawn to see the North Side Skull & Bone Gang, dressed as skeletons, wake up the city’s Treme neighbourhood, reminding everyone of their mortality. From then on it was “Let the good times roll,” with celebrations in just about every corner of the city, leading up to a ceremonial clearing of Bourbon Street at midnight.

The return of Carnival season has been a much-needed boon for business in New Orleans, where the famed restaurants and music venues were restricted or closed for months.