Meanwhile, a shooting Saturday night that wounded four people on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter didn't appear to deter visitors.
Lisa Preston, of Charlotte, N.C., said she was determined to enjoy her first Mardi Gras season in New Orleans.
"I'm having a blast," she said, sporting a purple hat, her neck draped with numerous strands of beads. "After the shooting, I'm keeping my eyes open, but Mardi Gras has really been a lot of fun."
Monday's festivities also included New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu saluting the parade kings of Zulu and Rex.