The streets of New Orleans were filled with colourful floats and extravagant costumes, as thousands of residents and tourists celebrated Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday. The event sees people celebrate the last day of the carnival season, devoted to frivolity and partying in the final hours before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Members of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club march during the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters

Organised by social clubs, known as 'Krewes', Mardi Gras see's is one of the cities most celebrated parades. "We're so unique here. We're like no other place in the world. The best place in the world, in our opinion," Zulu Queen Donna Marie Glapion told Reuters. The Krewe of Zulu parade kicked off festivities on Tuesday (28 February) morning with people on floats tossing beads and other decorative objects into the crowd of revellers.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People march during the Krewe of Zulu parade during Mardi GrasShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People march during the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Members of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club march during the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Members of the New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies march during the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters

The final day of festivities was a distraction for those taking part, after 28 people were injured in New Orleans during the main Mardi Gras parade on Saturday night (24 February) when a man ploughed his pickup truck into a crowd. Police said the suspect had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit soon after the crash. Yet as the music played and the floats went by, the events of Saturday seemed like a distant memory.

In this gallery, IBTimesUK presents some of the best photos from the carnival:

Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Members of the 'Lionettes' school dance group perform during the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People cheer at floats as they pass by during the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People watch the Krewe of Zulu paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Men protest as people celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
A woman dances during Mardi Gras celebration at the French QuarterShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
A woman celebrates Mardi Gras outside the French Quarter along the Mississippi river bankShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People celebrate Mardi Gras outside the French Quarter along the Mississippi river bankShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
A high school marching band plays before the start of the Bacchus paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
A man waits for the Bacchus parade to beginShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
People watch as floats in the Bacchus parade pass byShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
A float makes its way through the Bacchus paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
A girl watches as floats pass during the Bacchus paradeShannon Stapleton/Reuters