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   St. Louisans are getting geared up for one of the rites of spring....Mardi Gras.  Finishing touches are being put on the floats this week as Krewes get ready for Saturday's parade.  

   The festivities officially kicked off with the Taste of Soulard and Sunday's Pet Parade.

   The party continues with the Mayor's Mardi Gras Ball at City Hall this Friday night and then the Parade on Saturday.  

   The Fat Tuesday Parade will wrap up the pre-Lenten celebration when it marches down Washington Ave. on March 4.

   St. Louis' annual Mardi Gras celebration is one of the largest in the nation.

   A complete schedule of events, along with parking information and parade routes can be found at the St. Louis Mardi Gras website.

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   St. Louis' Burnin' Love festival at Forest Park will be held on what's expected to be the warmest day of the year so far.  

   The outdoor festival celebrating the Gateway City's 250th anniversary had originally been set for Friday night, Valentines Day, but had to be rescheduled because of bitter cold and icy conditions at the venue.  

   The event will now be held Tuesday evening at the top of Art Hill.  

   Festivities will include music, food, fire dancers, video presentations and a World Record attempt.  More than 300 St. Louis couples plan to get engaged, or re-engaged simultaneously.  There will also be special activities for the kids.  

   The event kicks off at 6 p.m. and caps off with fireworks at 9:15.    

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