Fat Tuesday has arrived and up to a million revelers are expected to party in the streets in the Big Easy if the weather doesn't let this festivity down. Even with rain forecasted in New Orleans for the majority of Feb. 12, sources including the Associated Press by way of ABC are hoping the merrymakers will triumph to take over the famed streets in this Louisiana hot spot.
In fact, an 80 percent chance of rain is the boards as the French Quarter is about to swell with thousands ready to celebrate in this historic spot and along the Mississippi River, as well.
Freddie Zeigler, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Slidell, La., says that "showers [are] likely moving into the metro area during the morning." He added that "fog blanketed the riverfront and business district in the early morning."
However, breaks in the inclement weather are expected to allow for the traditional parades to proceed. In fact, Zulu participants have already gathered at the New Orleans Convention Center. These partiers are on their Mardi Gras floats, ready to throw out the requisite beads, trinkets, and doubloons traditional to this rite of passage.
The parade of Rex follows with Pete Fountain and his Half-Fast Marching Club at the front of the procession as revelers donning outrageous costumes and decorative masks watch the action and catch as much bounty as possible. Many do so from French Quarter balconies in a tradition that has taken place since the late 1800s on the day before the Roman Catholic period of Lent starts on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Many call this the feast before the fast.
Reports said that gusty winds during Mardi Gras are to accompany the predicted rain and could possibly stop Tuesday's celebrations. But, with that in mind, Mardi Gras historian Arthur Hardy explains that "wars and even a police strike have prevented Fat Tuesday parades from rolling several times, but only once (in 1933) has foul weather led to the cancellation of the Rex parade."
And so, as Fat Tuesday dawns, and with city officials hopefully giving this day of frolicking and merriment a go, the good times are about to roll in New Orleans, otherwise known as the Big Easy, and for good reason especially during this specific time of the year.