"Super" start to Carnival season in Houma - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

"Super" start to Carnival season in Houma

A float in the Krewe of Hercules rolls through Houma Friday night A float in the Krewe of Hercules rolls through Houma Friday night

Houma, La. - Thomas DiNardo had never heard of Houma when he booked his hotel room for the Super Bowl. Now, it's a place he'll never forget.

"I thought it was great," he says. "I didn't like it in the beginning but when I got into the town and started meeting the people, the people are fabulous. Great, great town and we went Saturday night and saw the parade. So it's just a great town, great people."

Football fans left the Courtyard Marriott in Houma Monday morning, exhausted but elated.

Ravens fan Raphael Santini spent most of his time touring New Orleans but caught the Krewe of Hercules rolling through downtown Houma Friday night.

"First time," he says. "Very exciting. Everybody was very cordial to us, throwing stuff, smiling."

The Houma Area Convention and Visitors Bureau hoped to capitalize on the exposure brought by Super Bowl 47.

The first weekend of Carnival began Friday night and Houma police say there were few problems among the crowds.

Crowded it was. Many football fans stayed in Terrebonne Parish after hotels in New Orleans filled up.  Area tourism officials expect to get the final numbers later this week but they say most hotels were booked solid all weekend long.

"This is not the first time we've had Super Bowl guests in our area and we really enjoy having them here," says Sharon Alford of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We're people that understand passion for football so we can certainly understand their passion for football."

The one word visitors to Houma used over and over again was hospitality.

"Fantastic people," says DiNardo. "So gracious, so polite. I couldn't thank the people enough."

Tourism officials hope that's what will bring the visitors back long after the big game.

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