Harford in The Big Easy

Josh Nelson and his dad, Cole, had their picture taken inside the Super Dome during Sunday's Super Bowl in New Orleans. (Photo courtesy of Josh Nelson, Homestead Publishing / February 5, 2013)

It was like Baltimore took over New Orleans over the weekend, when thousands of Ravens fans, including many from Harford County, descended on The Big Easy.

Their experiences were amazing, they said, as they struggled to come up with words to fully describe it.

"It was absolutely fantastic," Tom Knight, of Baldwin, said Tuesday. "From start to finish it was a party atmosphere."

"Oh my gosh I can't begin to describe it," said Cheryl Adams, of Forest Hill, who stayed with family on her trip with her husband, Keith.

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Josh Nelson, of Forest Hill, got to go on a father-son trip he'll never forget.

"Being able to share that with Dad, it was a great opportunity as a father-son type event, one we'll never forget. That makes it very special," Nelson said.

And Jaime Hoback, of Havre de Grace, crossed two items off his bucket list: See the Ravens play in and win a Super Bowl and go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

They all said New Orleans was a fabulous host city, and everything about their trips, except maybe for the power outage during the game, went smoothly. They made memories that will last a lifetime.

Knight wasn't sure what to expect.

"But once I got there and started seeing all the fans, it was like a home game, but much more atmospheric and more electric," he said.

He cheered so much at Sunday's game, "I left my voice in the Super Dome and I'm not sure I'll ever find it, but it was worth it."

Awash in purple

New Orleans was literally awash in purple, Knight said, and Ravens fans far outnumbered 49ers fans. Even New Orleans Saints faithful were pulling for Baltimore in the big game.

"Everyone was high-fiving us and saying go Ravens," Knight, who went with his brother, Tim, of Perry Hall, said. "I'm not sure why, but we liked it."

For a football fan, walking around New Orleans was like being a kid in a candy store. On the street he saw Jonathan Ogden, the former Raven whose selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced Saturday night, and Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens general manager, among many others.

The game, he said, as many Ravens fans will attest, was one of two halves. After Jacoby Jones ran back the kickoff, Knight thought the Ravens were on their way to a blowout.

"But then the lights went out and it was a different game from that point," he said.

The Ravens fans fell silent and 49ers fans took over, until the end.

"But they won. And it all worked out, they got it together when they needed to," he said. "It's not the first time they had us on the edge of our seats wondering if they'd be able to pull it out or not."

'Trip of a lifetime'