New Orleans Mardi Gras 2006

Six months after being laid low by the most destructive storm in U.S. history, the people of New Orleans are still finding reason to celebrate Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent.

Relatively unscathed by Hurricane Katrina's floods, the French Quarter and uptown section were at their nearly festive best Monday.

Tourists are back, not as many as in past years, but still six and eight deep along parade routes.

The famed Proteus Parade featured floats in the sea colors of green, yellow, pink and coral.

There were sea serpents, purple devils with green eyes, celestial objects, spinning wheels of fire and revelers tossing beads.

And New Orleans restaurants report brisk business, although less of it.

More than two-thirds of the city's 1,900 restaurants are still shut down.

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