Letting the Good Times Roll in New Orleans

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Almost six months after Katrina struck and the levees failed, New Orleans is in the midst of its annual Mardi Gras celebration. This year's party is scaled back, with fewer parades, fewer tourists and of course, a dark and somber backdrop. Just blocks from the parade routes and the Bourbon Street bars, much of the city remains empty, dark and ruined.

An eerie context for a celebration that some residents say never should have gone forward at all. But most say even a limited Mardi Gras shows that New Orleans' heart and soul didn't drown in the flood waters, and that if it takes a party to show the world that a ravaged city is still in pain and determined to rebuild, then party on.

Hear about this year's Mardi Gras amidst the ruins of the Big Easy.


Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times reporter

Nick Spitzer, folklore professor at University of New Orleans and host of NPR's "American Routes"

Clyde Robertson, former director of the New Orleans public school department of Africana and Multiculturalism

Jodi Borrello, comedian

This program aired on February 22, 2006.


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