Where Orlando - - Where Now Orlando -

French set­tlers along the Gulf Coast started Mardi Gras in the 1700s, start­ing in Mo­bile in 1703 and spread­ing its way to cities like New Or­leans, Biloxi, Pen­sacola and even down to Key West. Mardi Gras trans­lates to Fat Tues­day, when Catholics en­joyed a feast of overindul­gences the last day be­fore Lent. That tra­di­tion ex­panded to elab­o­rate pa­rades and masked balls, al­ways with plenty of beads, food and drink. This year, Uni­ver­sal Or­lando is hon­or­ing the hol­i­day with its big­gest party yet. It all goes down from Feb. 4 to March 25 when Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios trans­forms into a gi­ant street party com­plete with nightly pa­rades led by amaz­ing per­form­ers with out­ra­geous floats cus­tom-built for Uni­ver­sal’s guests. Good times and great food are also on the menu where New Or­leans-style cui­sine treats your taste­buds to a party. The park’s French Quar­ter dis­trict serves suc­cu­lent Ca­jun-spiced seafood, red beans and rice, gumbo, craw­fish,

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