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Fat Tuesday hits the Web

Mardi Gras-goers both actual and virtual can get plenty of online help to party smart, safe, and hearty at a series of festival-themed Web sites. Mardi Gras in New Orleans runs February 6 to 20.

If a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras is in your future, or if you just want to savor the divine madness from the comfort of your own keyboard, there are a number of Web sites you can visit to make your celebration all the more festive.

A stop at the official Mardi Gras home page is a must for actual and stay-at-home revelers alike. Here you can get a glimpse at the parade schedule, access a dictionary of essential Mardi Gras terminology, and check out Carnival survival tips.

If you can't make it to the Big Easy for Carnival, you can order up your own party from Virtual Bourbon Street, including the traditional King Cake, a Mardi Gras party pack, beads, masks, doubloons, and other Mardi Gras-themed items.

Virtual revelers can get a glimpse of what's happening on Bourbon Street by accessing the Times-Picayune BourboCam. The New Orleans newspaper's Web site also features tips, information, and will soon include its own online mall.