While the big celebration goes on in the New Orleans Mardi Gras, another similar event is continuing to draw visitors here in East Texas. The 18th annual Jefferson Mardi Gras has drawn thousands of visitors to their smaller version of the Big Easy celebration. Party hats and floats abounded. Complete with parades, music and good times, the celebration has become popular with Texans and visitors from surrounding states for its family-oriented atmosphere. Many even come from far away to attend the event. An estimated 8,000 visitors came to this year's Jefferson event.