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"All year I have to dress professionally. This is the one time I get to act like a fool," Davis said.
Celebrations were scheduled throughout south Louisiana and in coastal Mississippi and Alabama, sharing the traditions brought by French colonists in the 18th century.
In Louisiana’s bayou parishes, riders on horseback would go from town to town, making merry in what is called the Courir du Mardi Gras.
The merriment must come to a halt at midnight, when the solemn season of Lent begins. New Orleans police were expected to sweep down Bourbon Street at midnight in the annual ritual of letting revelers know the party is over for another year.
The Zulu krewe’s 2014 Witch Doctor, Derek Rabb, said he was charged with praying for the krewe’s good health and good weather on Mardi Gras. "By God’s grace, there will be sun," he said.
When out of costume, Rabb works at New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. A member of the organization for the past eight years, he said being in such a high-profile position has been an experience he won’t soon forget.
"It’s been a whole lot of fun," he said. "It’s allowed me to meet some really interesting people."
Kitty Jensen, of Washington, D.C., said she and about 15 others from the nation’s capital were part of the Kilt of Many Colors and were scheduled to march in the Rex parade.
"We are the party that never ends," said Jensen, dressed in an airy, royal purple ball gown, reminiscent of the Renaissance era.
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