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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Overcast skies and the threat of rain couldn't dampen the revelry of Mardi Gras.

Parading kicked off around dawn, led by clarinetist Pete Fountain and his Half-Fast Marching Club. The Zulu krewe and the parade of Rex, King of Carnival, were to wind their way down stately St. Charles Avenue to the business district during the morning.

Parade-goers lined up despite the threat of inclement weather. Some families camped out overnight to stake out choice spots to view parades.

The French Quarter stirred to life and later in the day was expected to become the center of the celebration's more ribald side.

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