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Mardi Gras morning on Bourbon Street

NEW ORLEANS – There are two distinct groups of people you see on Bourbon Street the morning of Mardi Gras day: those who’ve been out all night long (they’re pretty easy to spot), and those who got up early in the morning to put on costumes for the big day of celebrations.

It’s been a particularly busy morning for the face painters in the French Quarter. For anywhere from $10 to $30 they’ll turn your face into a Mardi Gras mask that won’t wash off in the rain (just in case).

On the streets you’ll see everything from pirates to Pelicans – we found one man in an original 1955 New Orleans Pelicans baseball uniform! – in leather and tinsel and beads.

So far it’s been a calm start to Fat Tuesday, but don’t expect that quiet to last long on Bourbon Street. Crowds were beginning to thicken by midday.

Once the Rex parade finishes, expect to see huge crowds make their way into the Quarter, turning Bourbon Street into party city for about 12 hours. At midnight law enforcement from around the area will clean out Bourbon Street, signifying an end to Mardi Gras and the beginning of Ash Wednesday and Lent.