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Flamboyant costumes, show girl head dresses and fantastic masks are a common part of the Mardi Gras experience; float riders are even required by law to wear mardi gras masks. The masking tradition descends from ancient Roman times when carnival-goers assumed different identities. For drunken decadence and unusual mating rituals nothing beats the other side of Canal Street in the French Quarter and while its no place to bring the kids, you will need an extra roll of film for your camera. On Fat Tuesday the spectacular finals of the gay costume contests take place staring some of the most dynamic and engaging Drag Queens of the known world.