Good Times Roll On For 34th Annual Lake Wales Mardi Gras

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Due to the French influence in New Orleans, Mardi Gras remains a rich custom for the Cajun and Creole people of Louisiana. Their celebrations during Mardi Gras have come out of a place of resistance and resilience. "We're going to definitely try to get him out of the way of those beads flying", said Heather Clifton.

"My legs aren't real sturdy, but when I put the float together I feel dad's here", said Dupske.

The Holy Angels' Columbiette sponsor a Mardi Gras party every year.

This year's parade proved to be bigger and better with eight additional floats and several more volunteers, said Joshua Churchy, president of the Lake Wales Mardi Gras committee.

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Christensen came up with the idea of making Mardi Gras-style king cakes in Alaska as a fund raising tool for the Soup Kitchen, and to teach baking skills to women who are homeless so they can find work and turn their lives around.

The parades, however, are not just a time for celebration, especially at this year's festivities, which started Friday and end Tuesday. A third shooting left two people killed and three others wounded around 8 the city's Lower 9th Ward, about two miles from the parade route. While the official colors of Fat Tuesday are purple, green, and gold (representing justice, faith, and power, respectively), you can't deny the merriment of this full spectrum of hues.

Mardi Gras beads have been analyzed and found to contain toxic levels of lead, bromine, arsenic, phthalate plasticizers, halogens, cadmium, chromium, mercury and chlorine. Here's how to throw your own Mardi Gras party.

But for some, this is their first year celebrating Mardi Gras.

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Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French, and it's a common way for people to enjoy Shrovetide.

Each student partakes in a swing dance lesson from Fred Astaire Dance Studio teachers, eats authentic creole cuisine and decorates a king cake.

Another central component to the celebration are Mardi Gras Indians, made up, in large part, of the African-American communities of New Orleans' inner city.

CAS freshman Charlotte Dankwah is not celebrating the festival this year. Really, I think it's just the pageantry, the socialization, the fun of it.

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Mardi Gras Salsa: This sweet and spicy recipe combines all the colors of Mardi Gras by using foods like pineapple, avocado and red onion. If you want a funk-filled night, check out B.B. King Blues Club & Grill.