The Latest | Mardi Gras Reveler: ‘This Year It’s Pirates’

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on Mardi Gras celebrations that end with Fat Tuesday, the culmination of the Carnival season (all times local):

8:25 a.m.

A half-dozen pirates on the ferry from New Orleans’ west bank sliver were heading across the Mississippi River to join a much bigger crowd on the city’s east bank.

They were all active duty or retired military and families, heading to an annual Navy League breakfast called the Krewe of Eggs.

Charlene Wenrich, wearing an orange-red wig under her tricorn hat, said the group chooses a costume theme each year. “Last year was Harley. This year it’s pirates.”

Gerry (GAR’-ee) Leonard says pirates made for a much easier costume than motorcycle gang members: “You just throw on an earring and you’re good to go.”

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8 a.m.

The 30 or so people taking the 7 a.m. Tuesday ferry to Canal Street includes a couple of groups in tutus and a half-dozen pirates.

Craig Channell (shuh-NEL’) says, “this is the one time of year people can act like fools and get away with it.”

Channell, his wife, Darlene Channell, and friend Dian Walsh are visiting from Tampa, Florida. Host Bill Tucker is pulling a wagon holding a big cooler and four roll-up chairs.

Tucker says the cooler holds water and soft drinks. All agree that it’s too early for drinking anything stronger.

With three of the four wearing tutus, Tucker is accessorized with a wide studded leather belt. Craig Channell’s costume consists of a jester’s hat. He jokes that his tutu is in the wash.

They went to the glitzy Endymion parade Saturday. Channell says Tampa’s Gasparilla parade cannot compare.

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7:45 a.m.

The port city of Mobile, Alabama, is transforming itself into one big parade route for the climax of Mardi Gras season, Fat Tuesday.

Government offices and many businesses will be closed as parades roll almost continuously through the city starting Tuesday morning.

The weather is supposed to be good, and tens of thousands of people are expected to line parade routes trying to catch colorful beads, Moon Pies and Mardi Gras trinkets.

Alabama parades also are planned in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on the Baldwin County side of Mobile Bay.

New Orleans gets most of the crowds and attention around Mardi Gras, but Mobile bills itself as having the nation’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration.

The Christian season of Lent leading up to Easter begins Wednesday.

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2:35 a.m.

Thousands of people are expected to throng the streets for Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans.

Fat Tuesday is the culmination of the city and region’s Carnival season.

Some of the biggest parades will take place along the St. Charles Avenue parade route.

Families, tourists and locals generally set up their chairs and ladders early to get a good seat for catching the trinkets thrown by riders on the floats.

In another part of the city, people dressed in elaborate costumes will take part in the St. Anne’s parade, an eclectic walking parade.

At the stroke of midnight, police on horseback will do a ceremonial clearing of revelers on Bourbon Street to mark the formal end of the Mardi Gras season before Lent begins Wednesday.

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