NEW ORLEANS - Mardi Gras is over and has been called a big success.
Along with all of the partying and parades, the throngs of people who came to New Orleans began to leave the city Wednesday morning.
Visitors were packing and leaving local hotels and the Armstrong International Airport was busy as lines formed at the security checkpoints.
Airport officials estimate 15,000 passengers will travel through the airport on Wednesday.
"I love Mardi Gras. Zulu has always been my favorite krewe. So this is just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Tiffany Jones, an Atlanta tourist who rode in the parade and was flying out of the city.
Many in the city were using Ash Wednesday to recover from three successful weeks of Carnival and Super Bowl festivities.
Some were just finishing up the party.
"It's a lot cleaner...there's no beads anywhere, there's no people, just crazy," said Sarah Foray as she walked the French Quarter streets with Tessa Snyder Wednesday morning. The pair, dressed in Mardi Gras garb, were in town from Colorado.
"It feels like it was all just a dream," Snyder said.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates one million people, including locals and tourists, celebrate Mardi Gras every year.