Mayor Mitch Landrieu is urging residents of New Orleans to be patient and civil as the city plays host this weekend to the first big weekend of Carnival parades and NBA All-Star Game activities.
Landrieu has said only New Orleans could host two major events at the same time, but he says it will take "all of us" to pull it off.
"We have to ensure that visitors have a world-class experience and it is our entire responsibility, all of us together, to make sure that we can get this done," Landrieu said at a City Hall news conference.
"The only way Mardi Gras could possibly work is if we have respect for each other and we use common sense and we work with each other. If that happens, Mardi Gras should be very peaceful and it should be very safe."
19 traditional parades will be rolling on both sides of Lake Pontchartrain through the weekend.
Vehicular access in the French Quarter will be more restricted and on-street parking will be limited.
The Mayor says there will be a "hard closure" of a portion of Bourbon Street during nighttime hours beginning at 5pm, meaning no vehicles will be able to cross in the 200 to 800 blocks of Bourbon.