Photo Gallery: Mardi Gras Media Preview at Universal

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The 17th annual Mardi Gras celebration kicks off this weekend at Universal Studios Florida with a Saturday night concert from the B-52s. The event continues on Saturdays and select weekend nights through April 15th.

This morning the media was invited to inspect the parade's 4 brand-new floats with Universal SVP Jim Timon, and sample some creole cuisine with executive chef Steven Jayson.

Admission to Mardi Gras is included with annual passes and regular park admission. Check out the photo gallery below; full event details follow.

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION KICKS OFF THIS SATURDAY WITH THE B-52s LIVE IN CONCERT

Celebration Starts February 11 and Runs Saturdays and Select Nights through April 14

WHAT: Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras celebration begins this Saturday, February 11, with The B-52s, one of the world’s most beloved party bands, performing live on the Music Plaza Stage.

The B-52s will rock the stage with their high-energy dance beats and witty hybrid punk rock sounds. For more than 30 years, they have remained one of the most popular rock bands in the world, selling more than 20 million albums and receiving three Grammy nominations. Some of their most popular hits include, “Rock Lobster,” “Roam” and the worldwide classic hit, “Love Shack.”

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras combines unparalleled theme park entertainment with an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic New Orleans bands, delicious Cajun cuisine and live concerts by some of today’s most popular artists. This ultimate street party runs every Saturday and select nights from February 11 through April 14. For full headliner line-up, see below.

This year’s celebration features one of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras most powerful and diverse musical line-ups ever. With a combined total of more than 350 million albums sold, guests will rock out this spring to 14 of the biggest names in music during an authentic and family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans street party.

MARDI GRAS 2012 TALENT LINE-UP

Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners (Performing in the Music Plaza)

Saturday, February 11

The B-52s

Saturday, February 18

Kelly Clarkson

Sunday, February 19

Boyz II Men

Saturday, February 25

Diana Ross

Saturday, March 3

Goo Goo Dolls

Saturday, March 10

Big Time Rush

Friday, March 16

J. Cole

Saturday, March 17

Sugar Ray

Friday, March 23

Hot Chelle Rae

Saturday, March 24

B.o.B

Friday, March 30

Plain White T’s

Saturday, March 31

Prince Royce

Saturday, April 7

Cyndi Lauper

Saturday, April 14

KC & The Sunshine Band

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included in regular admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

WHEN: Saturday, February 11, 2012

WHERE: Universal Studios Florida

MARDI GRAS Saturday, February 11, 2012

SCHEDULE: 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: The Daddy Mack Blues Band

7:30 p.m.: Mardi Gras Parade Starts

8:30 p.m.: The B-52s

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