NEW ORLEANS - The Krewe of Bacchus' announcement of this year's monarch came down to the wire, with just a month until their parade, but in the end they'll make history, with the parade's first African-American monarch: "Avengers" actor and New Orleans native Anthony Mackie.
The announcement of this year's celebrity king had been delayed later than ever, but on Friday the krewe announced that Mackie will reign as Bacchus XLVIII when the parade rolls on February 7, which is also Super Bowl Sunday this year.
A native of the city and NOCCA and Warren Easton alumnus, Mackie is perhaps best known for his heroic turn in the Marvel franchise films "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Antman," and the anticipated "Captain America: Civil War" as avian Avenger "The Falcon. " He can soon be seen starring opposite Kate Winslet and Woody Harrelson in "Triple 9."
Mackie first rose to fame after starring opposite Eminem in "8 Mile." He then went on to catch the eye of director Spike Lee who cast him in the lead role in two of his films. Mackie also starred in multiple award winning and critically acclaimed films "The Hurt Locker," "Million Dollar Baby," "We Are Marshall" and "Notorious." He has also appeared in multiple on and off Broadway plays throughout his long career.
"The Krewe of Bacchus has always taken the lead in revolutionizing Mardi Gras," said Clark Brennan. "This year we are pleased to have a Bacchus who is both a nationally recognized star and a New Orleans native," Brennan said in a statement . "Anthony is a local success story and a great representative of the rich art, culture and music talent we have in New Orleans."
Bacchus, which first paraded in 1969, introduced the concept of a celebrity king or monarch, supersized floats and a post-parade party at the Rivergate (now at the Morial Convention Center). Danny Kaye reigned as the first Bacchus and other superstar monarchs in recent years have included Will Ferrell, James Gandolfini, Michael Keaton, Harry Connick Jr. Favorite monarchs from the past include Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Charlton Heston, Dom DeLuise, Ed McMahon, Perry Como, Phil Harris and Pete Fountain.
The theme of the 2016 parade is Flights of Delight. 1,430 riders will board 31 floats and the parade will feature bands including the Southern University Marching Band, the Talladega Marching Band, the United States Marine Reserve Band and Color Guard and many other local and out of state high school bands.