In the tradition of Mardi Gras show in New Orleans you can see a variety of carnival parade which dressed in a variety of strange costumes, catching plastic beads, candies and other trinkets. Center of weirdness and madness on the celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans special is only done in the French Quarter and in particular on Bourbon Street. Madness on Bourbon Street, I think it is not for kids, so keep your kids far away from Bourbon Street during festival Mardi Gras in New Orleans. If you are not from New Orleans and you interest to watch the celebration of Mardi Gras, you should advance to book a hotel room in the French Quarter.
Here are some pictures from the celebration of Mardi Gras in 2011: