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New Orleans: Post-Mardi Gras

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We have vacation time for a brief (5 day, 4 night) vacation in February and are trying to choose between Key West and New Orleans. We would arrive on the Thursday after Mardi Gras, but I'm wondering if that's a bad time to visit. This would be our first time visiting and I'm concerned that the energy of the place would not be at its usual level if people are still recovering from the party the week before. We are not interested in staying up late and drinking heavily, but do like to soak up atmosphere; and if the streets are still filled with beads and confetti and musicians are sounding slightly hung-over, I'm thinking it won't be as much fun.
Any thoughts?

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