The spectacle of colorful floats and throngs of people in the streets is what the city's Carnival season is all about. But this year's parade season occurs in the midst of heightened terror concerns.
City officials on Tuesday said top-notch security is planned for the peak of the season, with the feds promising unprecedented security resources.
"Given San Bernadino, given Paris, given Boston, we want the people of New Orleans to know that every major event that we have, we take seriously," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
Landrieu was surrounded by local, state, and federal law enforcement as well as public transit, fire department, EMS and health department, sanitation and airport officials, talking only about the security measures that could be made public.
"We intend to make this one of the safest and securest Mardi Gras that we have had," he said.
The NOPD will be at full staffing, and State Police will have 170 troopers in the city. Personnel from some sheriff's offices in neighboring parishes will be on board.
"We will not tolerate violent behavior. Do not bring a weapon to the parades. We will find it, and we will arrest you for it," said NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison.
"We're going to have real-time intelligence within the city, we're going to have a SWAT element that's going to work with NOPD," said State Police Commander Col. Mike Edmonson.
Jeffrey Sallet, who is the FBI chief in New Orleans, promised unprecedented help during the parade season. He was the FBI's point person in Boston after the terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon.
"We are going to be rolling out technology that has never been brought to New Orleans before for this Mardi Gras, and we're going to be rolling out intelligence assets, tactical assets and people," Sallet said.
He added that Boston Police officers will be here to share lessons learned from the terror attack in that city, and the FBI is promising that electronic eyes will be on a lot of people this Mardi Gras.
"We have located and mapped every single camera in and around any part of the French Quarter, the parade routes, and any other critical infrastructure," Sallet said. "I can also tell you that if there is not camera coverage, we will put it there."
The public is urged to alert authorities of suspicious activity.
"The way this Mardi Gras is going to remain safe is for everybody to act right and to be right," Landrieu said.