Saints come marching in - - Jackson, MS

Saints come marching in

NEW ORLEANS, LA (NBC) - New Orleans is a city that's never needed a reason to party, but for four-and-a-half years they've been searching for a reason to feel good.

Now they've found it: A Super Bowl berth for their beloved and long-beleaguered Saints.

Coupled with the start of Mardi Gras season, the Saints' trip to the Super Bowl is a perfect storm of celebrations, providing new relief from the violent storm that ravaged the city.

It seems only fitting that the team clinched it's first ever Super Bowl bid at home with confetti replacing the water that once poured from the roof of the Superdome, and with fans taking the place of the water that was in the streets.

The Saints are a part of every carnival parade now.

On Sunday a french quarter block party exploded into an impromptu Mardi Gras, drawing more than 10,000 fans.

The players and coaches seem to understand there's much more than a trophy at stake on Super Sunday.

"After, you know, something as devastating as Katrina, to have the team be part of the rebuilding process and have the success, certainly I think helps the spirit of everyone," said head coach Sean Payton.

Several parades originally scheduled for Super Bowl Sunday have been rescheduled.

Win or lose the city will honor the team with a parade the Tuesday after the big game and seven days later mark the culmination of Mardi Gras season with Fat Tuesday.

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