Family Gras to benefit from Super Bowl crowds - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Family Gras to benefit from Super Bowl crowds

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Family Gras will have a different feel in 2013. Jefferson Parish President John Young says it's going to be to be a Super Family Gras, in conjunction with the Super Bowl.

Carnival krewes in New Orleans step aside to let the football's main event shine Super Bowl weekend.  But Jefferson Parish is seizing a unique opportunity.

"An estimated 150,000 people will journey to New Orleans for Super Bowl weekend. Four-day visitors will spend up to $6,000," said JP councilwoman Cynthia Lee Sheng.

Young says, in addition to all the Super Bowl activities, he's inviting visitors to come to Jefferson Parish.  "They can come out here and some can experience for the first time Carnival," Young said.

Carnival organizers are hoping, if they roll, crowds will come.  And with visitors unfamiliar with the area, the parish has devised a plan to get them to Veterans Boulevard the Friday and Saturday before the Super Bowl. The Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau is making plans for a shuttle system from downtown New Orleans to Metairie.

Crowds have grown larger over Family Gras' six-year run. The parish says 10,000 people attended the first concerts. The last two Family Gras concerts have boasted crowds of 85,000 over the three-day weekend, according to parish officials.

"It appeals to all ages and tastes," Young said.

The headliners for this year's two-day festival include the Original Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Blues Traveler, Soul Asylum and Amanda Shaw.

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