Family Gras kicked off in Metairie Friday night, with Jenna Hunts and Cowboy Mouth kicking things off on the stage at Clearview Center.

Gold, purple and green were everywhere, bringing the fun of Mardi Gras outside city limits.

The event has games, even face painting for the little kids. And for the "big kids" -- daiquiris were flowing.

Any O'Cajun is dishing up their specialty to visitors all weekend.

"For us, it's crawfish beignets, everywhere we go," said Hester Rito of Any O'Cajun.

She expects this year's event to be even bigger, as parades roll down Veterans Boulevard and right into the Family Gras area.

"This year, I expect it to be a lot bigger," Rito said. "Once people figure out what's going on, they've got such close proximity to the floats and everything, it's awesome."

Local crafters and artists are banking on big crowds, too.

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"Yes, this is a very good show for us," said Fanny Fergeson, who sells her artwork on home goods and has put up a tent at Family Gras.

Charles Anderson says his one of a kind blazers, also for sale at Family Gras, pop up all over New Orleans this time of year.

"If people are in the spirit for Mardi Gras, then these will sell, definitely," said Anderson.

Family Gras runs all weekend, with a full lineup of performances. It's also a good spot to catch a front row seat to some of Metairie's parades.

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