Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Post-Katrina, Big Easy has big Mardi Gras hopes

20 Sep 2005 20:39:33 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW ORLEANS, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Work got under way this week on next year's Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the warehouses that hold the celebration's huge parade floats, even as rescue workers outside dispensed food and water to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"It might seem trivial to be discussing Mardi Gras at this point, but when you consider what Mardi Gras is to tourism and what tourism is to New Orleans, it's very, very important," said Barry Kern, president of Kern Studios, where many of the floats are housed.

"It's the backbone, the single largest tourism event and basically drives our economy," he said.

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