New Orleans Celebrates Mardi Gras 2006

Six long months after Hurricane Katrina, Mardi Gras celebrations and parades roll to excited revelers in New Orleans. Wild costumes and piles of beads have been a common sight in the French Quarter in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Many costumes are taking aim at Katrina-related issues, with people dressing as blue FEMA tarps, sandbags (used to repair the levees) and even as chocolate candy (in reference to Mayor Ray Nagin's comments about making New Orleans a "chocolate city" again).

A few celebrities were on hand, including Britney Spears, who took a group of Katrina-affected students on a shopping spree and out for a meal at a famous New Orleans restaurant. Later, she participated in the celebrations on Bourbon Street as she tossed beads from a balcony to delighted partiers below.

Two parades, the Endymion and Isis parades, were rescheduled due to bad weather Saturday evening. Both parades were rescheduled for the beautiful weather on Sunday.

As celebrations in New Orleans wind down, the city will have taken an important step in returning to normalcy after Katrina.

Fat Tuesday (today) marks the end of Mardi Gras celebrations, but not the end of the Mardi Gras spirit.