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Mardi Gras crowds still huge despite weather-induced drop in attendance

Cost revelers don't let it rain on their parade

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST – The fog hung low and the skies were dark along the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Fat Tuesday, the final and most boisterous day of the Mardi Gras season, but tens of thousands of revelers weren`t going to let a little bad weather rain on their parades.

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnival…whatever name you choose to call it, the meaning is the same: a good time for all and that`s what these people were determined to have.

In Biloxi, which hosts three back-to-back parades and easily draws the largest crowds, the number of parade-goers was estimated to be around 75,000 by city and ambulance officials, as well as many of the regulars who live along or operate businesses in the vicinity of Biloxi`s parade route. That`s down from the usual crowds of 100,000 to 150,000.

“I would say the crowd this year was 60% to 70% of what it normally is, due to the weather,” said Bobby Mahoney, owner of Mary Mahoney`s Old French House. “It didn`t rain, but the forecast for rain was around 80% and that scared a lot of people away.

“Still our caf

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