Mardi Gras spirits high despite recession

Feb. 8, 2009 at 3:44 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The national recession does not appear to be a mood-killer for those attending Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, a Carnival season organizer says.

Dan Kelly, who works with the Endymion Carnival group, said while the current economic woes may limit spending at the annual New Orleans celebration, it doesn't appear to be dampening the party-goers' spirits, The (New Orleans0 Times-Picayune reported Saturday.

"I think you're probably seeing people probably not spending as much as they've spent in the past," Kelly said of Mardi Gras, which concludes with Fat Tuesday on Feb. 24. "But really, the enthusiasm is there and the money has been there."

Diane Brown, captain of the Excalibur festival group, said her organization has added additional members for this year's Mardi Gras celebrations despite the economic downturn.

"We were fortunate enough to increase our membership by 25 percent this year," Brown told The Times-Picayune.

Still, the newspaper said, the recession has caused at least four parade organizations to cancel their 2009 participation due to money issues.

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