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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Fat Tuesday gives way to solemn Ash Wednesday

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NEW ORLEANS - The merriment of Mardi Gras has ended and the solemn season of Lent begins.

New Orleans police swept through Bourbon Street at midnight in the city's annual ritual of letting Carnival revelers know the party is over - until next year.

New Orleans resident Jim Baker says he usually dresses in costume for the holiday, but this year the weather deterred him.

Temperatures for most of the day in the New Orleans area were in the lower 40s and by early evening were at about 38. The wind chill made it feel even colder.

Still, Baker says there's one tradition he won't stray from - rain or shine - and that's attending Mass and receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday.

In Baton Rouge, people filled Our Lady of Mercy for the morning Mass. It was a very different scene than the rainy local parade routes, which had been bereft of revelers the day before.

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