A little morning drizzle didn’t stop Marda Loop from transforming into New Orleans yesterday.

Thousands strolled the Marda Gras Street Festival yesterday, taking in music from the Dixie Knights trio, buying crystals and clothing from vendors, and snacking on festival must-haves:

Hotdogs, pizza, kettle corn and mini-donuts.

There was something for everyone along 33 and 34 avenues, both closed to traffic for the day.
Kids had an area to themselves where they stomped on balloons, dunked basketballs and took turns having their faces painted.

Madeline Carlson, 6, showcased a butterfly on her cheek; she came with her parents and brother. The family recently moved to the area from Kelowna.

“We read about the festival and, since we live in Altadore, the whole family walked here,” said Carlson’s dad.

That would have made members of Eco “Alley” proud. For a second year, representatives from green businesses shared eco-friendly ideas along one side street.

More than 150 vendors helped to celebrate the 26th annual celebration, according to organizers.