NEW ORLEANS, LA–Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, members of the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Committee, and representatives of the Rex Organization and Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club celebrated the kick off to the Carnival season at Gallier Hall. The event also included the symbolic cutting of the season’s first King Cake, provided by Hotel InterContinental. Carnival officially kicks off each year on “Twelfth Night,” but the event was moved this year to a week day.
“Mardi Gras is the single event that transmits to the nation the authenticity of New Orleans and the future of New Orleans,” said Mayor Landrieu. “We come together and we do something better than anyone in the world, and that is celebrating the biggest free show on earth. In the middle of that, we’ll host Super Bowl XLVII, which will have our city on the world stage.”
To ensure that both Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl were successful, City and Carnival krewe leaders adjusted the parade schedule for 2013. The season’s first big parade weekend will be Friday, January 25 through Sunday, January 27. Super Bowl festivities will run from Monday, January 28 through Sunday, February 3. Mardi Gras parades will resume on Wednesday, February 6, and run through Fat Tuesday on Tuesday, February 12.
Some estimates of the economic impact of Mardi Gras in New Orleans have reached as high as $500 million. A first-ever economic impact study, performed at Tulane University and released in 2011, placed the direct economic impact of Mardi Gras 2009 at $144.1 million and the indirect impact at $300.7 million.
Mayor Landrieu commended the many krewes, businesses, public officials and citizens who help make Mardi Gras a success for all those who attend. "This year promises to be a great celebration, but there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into the joy that people see in the streets," he said.
Information about how to purchase tickets for viewing stands positioned in two strategic locations at Gallier Hall and Lafayette Square can be found at www.mardigrasparadetickets.com. The complete parade schedule, tips for visitors, and information about Mardi Gras krewes, history and traditions are available at http://www.neworleansonline.com/.
This year, the region’s tourism and marketing organizations, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, are teaming up with the Rex Organization to revive a centuries old tradition of issuing an official Royal Invitation to citizens around the world beckoning them to attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Click here to watch Mayor Landrieu’s 2013 Carnival Welcome.