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Fat Tuesday 2017 celebrations Kicking off local restaurants tonight

Fat Tuesday celebrations are kicking off in south Bend. The fifth annual South Bend Mardi Gras Parade is also happening.

The streets of New Orleans will be filled Tuesday with costumed revelers, dazzling floats featuring kings and queens, and people of all ages screaming for trinkets and beads. Lots of beads.
Tuesday marks the peak of the Carnival season, which started Jan. 6.

The biggest parades take place along the St. Charles Avenue parade route, where the Krewe of Zulu kicks off the morning’s parades and is followed by the Krewe of Rex.

Families, tourists, and locals set up their chairs and ladders early to get a good seat for catching the trinkets thrown by riders on the floats. The hand-crafted coconuts handed out by members of Zulu are predominantly required-after.

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In another part of the city, people dressed in complicated costumes take part in the St. Anne’s parade — an eclectic walking parade that starts in the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods and ends in the French Quarter.

Members of various Mardi Gras Indian tribes — they’re African-American moderately than Native American — will also be out on the streets in hand-sewn, beaded and feathered outfits that they have been working on for months.

At the stroke of midnight, police on horseback do an official clearing of revelers on Bourbon Street to mark the formal end of the Carnival season before Lent begins Wednesday. The word “carnival” comes from the Latin words meaning “farewell to flesh,” and was originally a time to revel and to use up all the fat and meat in the larder before the austerities of Lent.

This year’s Mardi Gras season was marred by a suspected drunken-driving incident that sent more than 20 people watching a parade to the hospital Saturday night. No one was killed.

Police say a drunken driver whose blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit plowed into a crowd of people watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City neighborhood. The driver, identified as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto, was arrested and is being held on $125,000 bond.

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