For two consecutive years, we went to every parade in nearby cities. The biggest mardi gras parade that I love was the mardi gras in D'Iberville in Mississippi. This place has the longest, most decorated floats, and plenty of participants. People came from different direction of the area.
Mardi Gras is indeed different from the parades that we had back home. When you watch Mardi Gras parades, you will participate all through out because you have to catch the beads, moon pies and teddy bears. Remembered my first time, was too shy to wave my hand and get the attention of those on the float :-) When I looked around, I was the only one, sat on my folding chair and everybody else were jumping and tagging the beautiful beads.