The Gulf Coast of the U.S. is famous for its laid-back lifestyle, world-class seafood and friendly locals. Another aspect of life on the Gulf Coast that attracts thousands of tourists every year is Carnival season. According to The Associated Press, local businesses are gearing up for a record year.
The highlight of Carnival season is Mardi Gras, the iconic Southern festival that celebrates the eating of fattier foods prior to the commencement of Lent. In addition to the rich and tasty cuisine served throughout the festival, revelers take to the streets of New Orleans to dance and celebrate this tradition.
Officials in cities along the Gulf Coast are expecting a record-breaking year in 2013, as in addition to the large crowds that will descend on New Orleans for Mardi Gras, the NFL Super Bowl will be held a week prior to the celebration on February 3. In the week preceding the main Mardi Gras celebrations, more than 100 parades will be held in towns and cities along the Gulf Coast.
"Mardi Gras really is a shared cultural event that spans the entire Gulf Coast," Beth Carriere, executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the news source.
According to KMOV News, a grand fireworks display kicked off the Carnival season in St. Louis, Missouri, late last week. The news source reports that the St. Louis parade is the second-largest after the New Orleans celebrations.
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