So you are definately coming...how wonderful!
Since you are from the cyber side of the family, maybe we could do a webcast or something from there - a podcast at the very least, but the visuals will be beautiful.
Re hotels, you want to be in the quiet end of the quarter if there are still rooms - this is towards Esplanade, away from Canal Street. One of my favorite hotels on this side of town that MIGHT still have a room is the Richelieu and there might be a slight chance also at the Frenchmen.
Otherwise, you will have to stay in the CBD - right across Canal, and walk or streetcar (Riverfront streetcar which is back in service) back over to the Marigny to march. There are still some rooms at various hotels there, not cheap but some around $250 a night, which was, even pre-Katrina, the going rate for the final five days of carnival at someplace gorge. I would suggest you book soon - within a week.
It WAS getting much more sold out, but Ive heard that the recent second line shootings and mayor's CHOCOLATE CITY remarks (LOL) have caused some cancellations.
And the dress code - more on that later and dont worry, we have a skull headdress for you!