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Tents lit up from the inside with different colors.
Local Festivals
  1. Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington D.C.
  2. Wyoming State Fair
  3. South by Southwest Music and Media Festival
  4. Mardi Gras
  5. Native American Pow Wows
  6. Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Minnesota
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people waving at a float along a city street
Parades mark a Mardi Gras festival.
Photo Courtesy of Louisiana Office of Tourism.
Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is an old European tradition that came to the United States in the 1800s with French immigrants. Mardi Gras celebrations take place yearly the day before Ash Wednesday, the day that signals the beginning of Lent. Lent lasts for forty days and ends on Easter. Many Christians fast or give up certain foods for religious reasons during Lent. So parties are traditionally held on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lenten fasting begins. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana is home to one of America’s grandest Mardi Gras celebrations. People make travel plans months in advance so they can stay in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter and view the city’s Mardi Gras parades and street parties. A Mardi Gras king and queen, along with thousands of costumed actors and clowns, accompany colorful floats through the city. Many people eat King Cakes during this festive season. King Cakes are decorated with the official colors of Mardi Gras, yellow, green, and purple. A bean is placed in the cake before baking. Whoever finds the bean must provide the cake for the next party. Mardi Gras’ popularity has spread around the country. Today Mardi Gras celebrations take place in many states.
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