By Rachel Vella

New Orleans favorite time of year is here -- Mardi Gras! Starting on the Ephiany and running through until Lent (this year February 5) Mardi Gras is a long standing New Orleans tradition. As far back at 1718, this Catholic based holiday has been filling the streets of New Orleans. Many people do not realize, but this huge event over six weeks long is put on by the public- this is not a corporate sponsor event. You wonít find a Miller Lite or Coke Cola parade, Mardi Gras is entirely funded by the individuals who live in or care about New Orleans. This year itís early, so grab some clean clothes and an empty bag to fill with Mardi Gras beads and get on down here.

With so many parades, balls and King Cake parties to choose from, itís very easy to get overwhelmed with Mardi Gras. Here are a few tips for first timers to Mardi Gras, and for those of you who visit us every year, maybe you will learn something new!

Read more! Click here: It's Carnival Time - Mardi Gras 2008 in New Orleans!