RENO, NV - People all over the world celebrated Mardi Gras Tuesday night. It's the last night where folks can eat like royalty before buckling down and fasting for Lent season.
The jazzy music, light-hearted atmosphere and spicy cuisine are enough to transport you down to the south.
"We're not in New Orleans: we're in Reno, but we can make it feel like New Orleans," said a Reno native.
From masks to beads to feather boas, people dressed in their best Fat Tuesday costumes filled the Reno Ballroom, donning their best green, purple and gold.
"Why not; it's Fat Tuesday, you have to go all out!" said a Rotary Club member.
It's all part of the Reno Rotary Club's 22nd annual Mardi Gras Party. It's the club's biggest fundraising event of the year, raising nearly $75,000 for local charities that help empower, educate and train youth.
"It started in New Orleans and we're just carrying on that tradition. A party is a party, especially in the middle of the wintertime, to have fun," Carl Fuetsch, president of the Reno Rotary Club, said.
Laissez les bon temps rouler, or let the good times roll, was the motto. People went all out and got their sugar, alcohol and fix of luxury before they have to buckle down and give it all for 40 days. March 5 is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Christians and non-Christians alike fast for 40 days or abstain from vices and guilty pleasure to develop good self-discipline. The idea of Lent is to test one's limits and grow from the sacrifices.