The festival is already in full swing in New Orleans. "Mardi Gras is always, every day in New Orleans, we're always prepared," said partygoer Kimberly Gerwald.

Prepared for today, Fat Tuesday, when the party will reach its' peak, "You know Bourbon Street, to parades, to dabloons.. You know, comrades and meeting people on the streets. The crazier the better," said partygoer Megan Webb.

The music, the madness, and the parades.

The crowds have been gathering for more than a week now.

The Big Easy is already busting at the seams, and could see record crowds this season.

Hundreds of thousands, defiantly moving to their own beat.

There is no age limit at Mardi Gras, and the dress code - well, like this festival is all over the place.

No shoes are necessary, and in some cases no shirt, but there is still plenty of service in this city that throws a party like no other. "They come, and they just have fun..They go out, they see friends, they have some of the best food in America..they - uh.. some of the best night clubs in America.. and experience the people, the culture the friendliness of everyone around," said Al Gross, General Manager & VP of the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

A friendliness, that flows like the beads, the boas, and the music.

That is Mardi Gras..