Sarah went to Mardi Gras last year, so she takes for a look back at Mardi Gras 2011.
Mardi gras is easily one of the biggest and longest celebrations.
It isn't just one parade but several, sometimes several in a single day.
Whle it might all seem like fun and games, this holiday is virtually sacred for New Orleanians.
It was legally declared a holiday back in 1875, and you'd be hard pressed to find many businesses that are open in the days surrounding it either.
The Parades start about two weeks before Fat Tuesday.
While many tourists might center their trip around Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, you won't find any parades down there. They stopped doing that in 1972 because the streets were too narrow, and there were too many obstacles overhead.
Instead, the parades cruise along the uptown and mid-city districts, and people camp out, sometimes for days to guarantee a good spot. Some even bring pieces of scaffolding to insure that their children get high enough above the crowds to get good throws, which isn't just limited to beads.
Believe it or not, many revelers refuse to catch the cheaper beads, just letting them fall to the ground. Many people in the parades will throw them by the bag full. It's common for these beads to end up in trees or on people's fences through town as a little decoration.
Getting beads doesn't require what you might think. All you have to do is throw your hands in the air and yell a Mardi Gras catch phrase, "Throw me something mister!" Do it the other way, and you'll end up in jail.
Nowadays, the throws have gotten fancy. They throw cups, bags, stuffed animals, anything that lights up, and doubloons, which are large aluminum coins, specific to each parade "Krewe", year and theme. All of those coins are collector's items.
In the parades, you can find a little bit of everything, from floats to animals to bands to Flambeau Carriers. Fambeau Carriers were originally slaves who helped light up parades with torches, before electricity.
Now, it's tradition to throw money at them as they pass you.
While participation in most parades is limited to elite social groups, that isn't always the case. Some of the fancier districts host their own parades. Sarah even walked in one of them.
However you slice it, Mardi Gras is just plain fun. It's really a celebration of good music, good food and good times.
So as they say in New Orleans, "Laissez bon Temps Rouler!" or "Let the Good Times Roll!"