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PHOTOS: Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade 2012

Hundreds turn out for annual Fat Tuesday celebration.

Wilson Boulevard was packed Fat Tuesday night for the Clarendon-Courthouse community's annual Mardi Gras parade.

The parade consisted of 45 floats provided by area businesses, political and civic groups, and various entertainers. Beads flew through the air to a crowd full of everyone from children to the elderly to every age in between. Many wore masks or costumes and blinked or glowed in the dark.

The local business community was well represented, from mainstays like Whitlow's on Wilson to newcomers like Trader Joe's. The latter was handing out the store's reuable shopping bags, which caused adults to push past the children to get out front. And beg.

The U.S. Park Police had horses, dogs had walkers and most everyone else had some sort of trinket to hand out. A few younger marchers had to stop occasionally and untangle themselves.

Freddie's Beach Bar impressively assembled the cast of the "Wizard of Oz," who were accompianed by Miss Gay Arlington. Artomatic, a creative arts studio soon to reopen in Crystal City, had an interesting tower as a float that was laborously pulled along to add a unique bit of performance art.

The annual Mardi Gras celebration was put on by the Clarendon Alliance.

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