Tens of thousands of revellers have been packing the streets of New Orleans for the annual Mardi Gras celebrations.
Fun and frivolity supplanted the sombre mood in a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina six months ago.
Colourful floats, marching bands and elaborate costumes competed for attention.
Everywhere there were references to Hurricane Katrina.
These revellers dressed as blind levee inspectors, in reference to the breached levees that caused the flooding.
One group wore the labels from Meals Ready to Eat that were served up to thousands of people in the storm's aftermath.
This New Orleans couple came as the Mold Squad, seeking infectious waste.
Mayor Ray Nagin arrived for "Fat Tuesday" dressed as a four-star general.
Zulu dancers travelled from South Africa for the first time to lend their support to Louisiana's biggest city.
New York paid tribute to the city by lighting up the Empire State Building in the carnival colours.
However, while many welcomed the chance to breathe life back into the city, some questioned whether the event should have been held at all.