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Mardi Gras parties on

The week's news at a glance.

New Orleans

Clarinetist Pete Fountain played Dixieland jazz, 1,250 members of Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club paraded in grass skirts and blackface, and hundreds of thousands of revelers partied as New Orleans this week celebrated its first full-scale Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in August 2005. The festival’s first Mardi Gras parade rolled out Monday night, with actress Patricia Clarkson and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton leading the Orpheus parade, organized by singer Harry Connick Jr. For locals, the revelry was a welcome relief. “We never needed it more,” said John Ferguson, 41, who’s still repairing his hurricane-damaged house. “I just want to eat, drink, and have fun today.”

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