Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
| Twitter: @taniadall
NEW ORLEANS -- Thousands of basketball fans and Mardi Gras aficionados will descend on New Orleans this weekend, drawn downtown for both to the start of Carnival season and the NBA All-Star Game. Law enforcement agencies say they're ready for the big crowds.
"It gives me a little sense of pause, but I feel very secure," said Laura Lytle, who is visiting from Cincinnati.
Just about everywhere you turn this weekend --- yellow vests and trooper hats aren't hard to spot. That is because they've increase. The NOPD, Louisiana State Police and other agencies are stepping up their presence on foot and at traffic intersections.
"Just like every other year. We have the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. It's kind of a like a small version of Mardi Gras," said Trooper Greg Marchand.
This weekend's warm-up to Mardi Gras means an extra 120 troopers.