The Nation

Mardi Gras' show of splendor, satire and sex jammed a million people into the French Quarter and along parade routes of the marching clubs as New Orleans whooped through its annual rowdy fling before the sober season of Lent began at the end of Fat Tuesday. It was a warm day of laughter and amazement, masks and painted faces, crazy costumes, scrambles for plastic necklaces and aluminum doubloons, and beer, wine and booze. Police said the good-humored crowds, which began thinning at nightfall, were of near-record size.

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