A Brief History of Mardi Gras

mardi gras
Chris Graythen / Getty

A Rowdy Affair
OK, Mardi Gras' reputation as an alcohol-fueled, nudity-filled bacchanal is not completely unearned. In 1973, a ban was established on Krewe parades in the increasingly rowdy and narrow streets of the French Quarter. In subsequent years, tourists and other drunken fools descended on the Quarter (especially the particularly saucy Bourbon Street) en masse, and the tradition of showing skin for beads began. Native New Orleanians despise the reputation, and rarely venture into the Quarter during Carnival season.

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