Preparations for Mardi Gras begin
As New Orleans' Mardi Gras is underway, revelers put the finishing touches on brilliant costumes, accessories and large extravagant parade floats.
The long-held tradition is viewed as a raucous party in many parts of the country but for natives, it's a special time for self-expression and creativity.
Take a look at the photos above to see the meticulous prep that goes into the festival.
Related: See how to make the must-have Mardi Gras cocktail:
More from AOL.com:
How to make 3-ingredient tomato soup
Amazing trick for removing gum from clothing
One-pot pastas that will change your life forever