The carnival season ramps up this weekend with parades all across the state. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says New Orleans is the focal point for Mardi Gras, but the entire state benefits from an influx of tourists who want to be a part of the celebration.

"We've got family friendly Mardi Gras all over the state and also it's a lot less expensive to go to the Mardi Gras in other areas of the state."

Weather will be an issue for the parades that roll tomorrow as some areas of the state could see a couple of inches of rain. But Nungesser knows that will not dampen the spirit.

"I've had the great privilege of riding and participating in Mardi Gras all over the state in the last two years. And I've got to tell ya, there's something special about every Mardi Gras festivity in every part of the state."

State Climatologist Barry Keim says a wet rainy weekend is still threatening to dampen Mardi Gras parades around the state on Saturday. Rain is expected, especially in south Louisiana, but it won’t be a heavy continuous downpour.

"Total rain accumulations of one to two inches likely over the three days. So this is manageable rainfall but there could be pockets of heavy rainfall so people will need to be cognizant of that."

Nungesser plans to be in Washington DC on Fat Tuesday to promote the state's new tourism slogan, "Louisiana: Feed Your Soul." He says it's his hope that it will be a safe Mardi Gras and he knows our state and local law enforcement is working hard to make sure it is.

"Hopefully we'll get through Mardi Gras without any negative publicity for crime or any other incidents."

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