Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Life goes on

From The Washington Times:

City leaders, who said before the floodwaters even had receded that Mardi Gras festivities would occur, hope that this year's scaled-down version, the 150th, will be the first step back to carnivals that attract 1 million visitors and generate more than $1 billion for the local economy.

"We do expect crowds to be incrementally less that 1 million. However, we do anticipate the crowds to be sizable," said Erica R. Papillion, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bob Wangler of Bourbon Street Balcony in the French Quarter said his private party rooms have been sold out. "People are coming," he said. "No one is saying not to go. We should have a Mardi Gras, and we will have a Mardi Gras."

Of the 36,000 New Orleans hotel rooms before Katrina hit, about 27,000 are back in operation, some of which still are housing displaced citizens and recovery workers. But a spokesman for the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association predicts that more rooms will become available closer to when the festivities begin as more families and workers vacate the rooms.

"Everyone's scrambling for rooms," said Katherine Young, general manager of the Chateau LeMoyne hotel. "I think everybody is just about full."

The over the top spirit of Mardi Gras always embodied the best of New Orleans, a city who's motto is "let the good times roll". It is good that it will go on this year. Some have asked how a celebration can be held in a city where so many have died so recently. I believe that it is necessary because so many have died so recently. As human beings we have gone from cowering in caves to walking on the moon because it is our nature to hurl our defiance at all things that would hold us back.

Though lives are lost LIFE GOES ON!