Feb 28, 2014 5:12 AM by AP (Photo courtesy MGN Online)
The Krewe of Muses, one of New Orleans' youngest in its 14th year, has become the unofficial kick-off to the city's big weekend leading to Fat Tuesday.
The more than 1,000 all-female krewe rolled through the city Thursday. It's followed by days of star-studded parades, including Endymion, Bacchus and Orpheus, mega-krewes that lure thousands to the city.
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Kelly Schulz says area hotels are nearly at capacity for Saturday and Sunday and there's strong occupancy on Monday and Tuesday.
Among Muses' floats and marching bands was a group of women carrying tall, T-shaped torches known as flambeaux (Flam-Boh). Calling themselves "Glambeaux," the women shimmied their way through the streets, paving the way for a new take on a more than century-old male-dominated Carnival tradition.