New Orleans is a melting pot; French and African cultures combined in
this settlement to create a new "Creole" culture, expressed in the
elaborate European architecture of the French Quarter, a language
blending French with African dialects, and deliciously spicy, unique
cuisine. There may be no better place to experience the depth of
culture in New Orleans than at the JazzFest, a celebration forty years
running which features prominent musicians in nearly every musical genre
as well as local arts, crafts, and cuisine. While the city filled
national news after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New
Orleans may be best known for its flamboyant Mardi Gras proceedings each
year. Purple, green, and gold fill the city during Carnival.
Revelers flock to New Orleans to join the celebration as elaborate
floats, musicians, and performers parade through the streets during the
twelve days leading up to Mardi Gras.