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New Orleans Celebrates Mardi Gras January 31 - February 11, 1997

The 141st annual celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans begins on Friday, January 31 and culminates on Fat Tuesday, February 11. More than 60 parades are scheduled during the 12 days of merriment and madness. Last year, a record-breaking $923 million was spent during the festivities which attract several hundred-thousand visitors from around the world.

Celebrities scheduled to appear in parades this year include Jim Belushi (Tucks parade, Feb. 8), David Schwimmer (Endymion parade, Feb. 8), Tom Arnold (Bacchus parade, Feb. 9), Harry Connick Jr. and Quincy Jones (Orpheus parade, Feb. 10).

The 21st annual edition of Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide contains 160 colorful pages of facts, photos, features, and fun - including more than 60 individual parade profiles and maps. The 1997 edition also includes a history of the celebration; "FUNdamentals" - an article designed to provide newcomers with essential information about the festivities; an illustrated glossary of Mardi Gras terms; and articles on New Orleans personalities, traditions and happenings.

The 1997 Mardi Gras Guide also features an exclusive interview with Anne Rice, who shares her childhood memories of Mardi Gras in the Crescent City. Jazz great Pete Fountain penned an article for this year's Guide, which also includes a salute to the Rex parade on its 125th anniversary.

The 1997 edition of Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide is available by mail for $6.50 which includes first-class postage and handling from: Arthur Hardy Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 19500, New Orleans, LA 70179. Orders are shipped the same day they are received.

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