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Revelers with the Mystic Stripers toss trinkets to the crowds gathered on Royal Street in Mobile, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. The pre-Lenten blowout continues along the Gulf Coast culminating in Fat Tuesday celebrations Feb. 21. Tourism leaders estimate more than a million visitors pour into the Mobile area each Mardi Gras season to watch the festivities. (AP Photo/Mobile Register, G.M. Andrews) MAGS OUT; NO SALES

Revelers with the Mystic Stripers toss trinkets to the crowds gathered on Royal Street in Mobile, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. The pre-Lenten blowout continues along the Gulf Coast culminating in Fat Tuesday celebrations Feb. 21. Tourism leaders estimate more than a million visitors pour into the Mobile area each Mardi Gras season to watch the festivities. (AP Photo/Mobile Register, G.M. Andrews) MAGS OUT; NO SALES

Mardi Gras

Revelers hit the streets Feb. 21 to celebrate Mardi Gras, lured to the French Quarter and stately oak-lined avenues by the chance to snag beads and baubles from seemingly endless parades in the final unfettered party before the somber season of Lent.