Mardi Gras Brings Fun And More Security In Downtown Buffalo

March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 10:07 AM EDT

By By Jaclyn Asztalos

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March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 10:07 AM EDT

It's Fat Tuesday, the last day for many Buffalonians to eat, drink and be merry before the season of Lent begins on Wednesday.

Although it is a lot of fun, the Buffalo Police Department is taking things very seriously to make sure everyone is safe. They are asking business owners to be on the lookout for any trouble. They are to call authorities immediately if they see anything suspicious.

The festivities will kick-off with the Artvoice 16th Annual Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday Parade. There will be more than 30 floats on the parade. The route begins at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, to Elmwood Avenue, through Allentown then to Buffalo's entertainment district on Chippewa Street.

After the parade, the city will become a 40-night club party. Organizers are calling it Buffalo's "French Quarters".

Patrons can buy a bracelet for five dollars. All the bars will serve Cajun cuisine and have live music, among other entertainment. All this fun is for a good cause. The money raised goes to "Give for Greatness", a campaign to raise money for the Western New York cultural organizations lost funding this year.

The parade starts at 5 p.m.