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With days of parades, you'll need to plan your time and mardi gras costume accordingly. Remember this is supposed to be fun! The parade season officially begins on the second Friday before Mardi Gras, although the parade calendar is expanding. There are nine parades on Mardi Gras. Parades consist of anywhere from 10 to 40 floats carrying krewe members, marching bands, dance groups, costumed characters like jesters, kings, queens and showgirls and the like. Some parades are small and suburban, others downtown and lavish. Every parade has a theme, usually borrowed from mythology, history or Hollywood so the costume potential is endless. Consider your color scheme and your theme and have fun!