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The Latest: Police: 3 shot near Mardi Gras parade route

NEW ORLEANS – The Last Mardi Gras (all times are local):

7 hours

New Orleans-Police say two shootings near the traditional Mardi Gras parade route left three people injured.

The first shooting happened about 3:15 a.m. Tuesday in the St. Charles Avenue and Carondelet streets.

Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel says that a man was shot in the head and is in critical condition. Another, a young boy, was shot in the leg and is in stable condition.

A second shooting happened during a fight that broke out near St. Charles and Second Street. Police chief Michael Harrison says a man who they believe was shot twice and was rushed to the hospital. His condition is unknown.

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In the afternoon

Families are out in force for Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

Throngs of people were at the median for the last day of the Mardi Gras, cook until the crawfish and red beans and rice. Others had set up ladders for their children to sit on and catch beads and throws from the passing of Zulu parade.

Joseph Rhyans moved to Houston in 2002, but says that he tries to come back every year. He calls Mardi Gras is a “family matter” and he wants to teach his children about.

The Zulu parade will be followed by the Rex parade, and then two truck parades. Families usually pack up and go home after that, though the celebrations in the French Quarter to extend till late in the evening for the police to do a ceremonial cleaning of the streets at midnight.

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11:25 pm

Mardi Gras is when you come crocodiles — or perhaps dragons — of Boston taking photos of two-headed dragons from Wichita, Kansas, in the French Quarter.

They were among more than 100 people, many of them costumed in Jackson Square about 10 hours, as the French Quarter, the festivities got under way on Fat Tuesday and a morning chill began to warm-up.

Zulu, the first parade was already rolling on a route ending on Canal street, on the edge of the Area, with masses of pushing and shouting for beads, toys, spears and Zulu’s signature painted coconuts.

In the neighborhood, a street preacher that calls people in the audience were on the road to damnation. He was supported by about 50 followers, and surrounded by a small crowd, most of them hecklers.

The religious group that left after a few minutes of ear busting reggae and samba music.

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9 hours

Stay Warm is an important theme of this year’s costumes on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

On the 7:30 ferry from New Orleans’ West Bank to Canal Street, Tracy Thomas was wearing a fuzzy, hooded pink zip-up suit over other clothing. She describes her costume as her warm and comfortable pajamas.

She and the neighbor Christine Stephens are on the road to what has become of their traditional Mardi Gras breakfast on-the-spot. Then they go to a good place outside of a po ‘ boy sandwich shop to watch the Zulu parade.

Stephens was wearing a lavender wig, black pants, jacket and top hat and lace lavender half-gloves. She described her costume as a cross between Goth and Lolita. And they changed that pastel Goth. She says that she decided to abandon a short skirt because it’s cold.

Tuesday forecast was for a cloudy sky, temperatures in the 60s (15 degrees Celsius), and a 20% chance of thunderstorms.

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3:05 pm

Tens of thousands of revelers are expected on the New Orleans streets for parades and swashbuckling fun as Mardi Gras caps the Carnival season in a city with a celebration of its own, with its 300-year anniversary.

The anniversary of this Louisiana port city will have a prominent place in Fat Tuesday festivities.

Rex is New Orleans’ oldest parading Carnival group. It is the celebration of the tricentennial with 21 of the 28 floats commemorating the history of the people who lived in the area before the Europeans settled in 1718 in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815

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