For anyone who either can't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year, or wants to relive the magic of the holiday over and over again, the Universal Orlando resort is the place to go! The festivities begin on Saturday, Feb. 9, with great food, a parade that feels just like it was taken from the streets of New Orleans, and a live concert featuring Lifehouse.
This year's parade celebrates "Colorful Cultures Around the World," featuring several elaborate, hand-crafted floats built by Blaine Kern Artists - the same company that designs floats for the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. Running select nights through April 20, Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras also features authentic New Orleans musicians, mouth-watering Cajun cuisine and live concerts by high-profile artists.
With a French Quarter-style balcony and jazz musicians galore, the newly-enhanced "Music of New Orleans" float at Universal Orlando's 2013 Mardi Gras parade showcases the musical impact the Big Easy. The "Chinese New Year" float celebrates the beginning of the Chinese calendar year, complete with traditional paper lanterns and a huge, ornate dragon flying above. The "Mexican Day of the Dead" float pays homage to the traditional holiday celebrated in Mexico, complete with a skeletal bride and groom, sugar skulls and a light fog trail. The "Elegance of India" float celebrates the magic of Bollywood, complete with exotic fabrics and hypnotic dances of color and light. The first Mardi Gras parade of 2013 kicks off on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.
Of course, you can't forget the fabulous food and merchandise vendors that can only be found in the French Quarter Courtyard, which opens for the first time in 2013 at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.
You may also want to stick around for the evening's concert, featuring some of the greatest musicians you'll find anywhere. The headliner for opening day is everyone's favorite band, Lifehouse, which takes the stage at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Local Getaways examiner will be at Universal Orlando this weekend taking in all the festivities, and will share some of his adventures with examiner.com next week.
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