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      Let It Bead! Mardi Gras In The Tower District

      The Mardi Gras parade in Fresno's Tower District is a sixteen year tradition.{} Organizers say it's a neighborhood event that can't be duplicated anywhere in town or the Valley.

      The theme was a little different this year, Mardi Gras in space. But the more creative people like Jessica and Dave showed they had the right stuff.{}{}"Of course we love any excuse to put on a costume. {} It's such a fun day to see all our friends and all the people who come to visit the neighborhood."

      The{}parade is all about being colorful and collecting beads.{} It seems everyone on floats had a ready supply.{} There was no such thing as one at a time.{} People on floats{}heaved them by the hand full.

      Joey Arriola calls himself the official, unofficial voice of the Tower.{}{}"They don't do anything like this anywhere in town. {} This is the only place in the Valley that we do something like this. {} It's just a neighborhood thing. {} There are no neighborhoods like this anywhere."

      The turnout was huge. {} It was a sea of people on Olive Avenue between Fruit and Maroa. {} Bat Lord and his girlfriend Angel, wouldn't miss it.{} "Self expression and it's just an ultimate celebration. {} This is one of those awesome times where people get to balance their spirituality and their fun."

      It was a parade that had a little bit of everything. {} Floats, a fire eating man, Herbie the Love Bug, and a few thousand people just having fun.