(CBS/AP) - Stars are heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year, gearing up to ride in parades and participate in the annual festive celebration.
Actress Patricia Clarkson received a brass band reception when she arrived Wednesday in "The Big Easy," setting the stage for the all-women Krewe of Muses parade to roll Thursday night.
Muses kicks off a string of celebrity-studded parades leading up to Mardi Gras on Tuesday. The parades are held by individual krewes - social clubs that spend all year putting together the elaborate floats and costumes.
The pop-rock band Maroon 5 rides with the krewe Endymion on Saturday night, comedian and actor Will Ferrell rides as king of Bacchus on Sunday night and rocker Bret Michaels will join Grammy-winning singer Cyndi Lauper in Orpheus on Monday.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Theresa Andersson will also be featured in Muses, and as her float rolls through the city streets she will perform songs from her upcoming album "Street Parade," accompanied by a 50-piece marching band. It will be the first time Andersson performs her new songs for the general public. The album's release date is April 24.
Clarkson, the New Orleans-born star of the 2010 thriller "Shutter Island" and the 2003 drama "Pieces of April," will be riding in Muses aboard a red fiber-optic-lit float shaped like a high-heeled shoe. Like other riders in the parade, Clarkson will hand out high-heeled shoes decorated with glitter, beads and feathers.
"I am so honored to be the lady leading all of this," Clarkson said. "This is how I want to wake up every day, to a jazz band and ladies with goodies and trinkets greeting me."