Andy Garcia excited to be Bacchus


by Bill Capo / Eyewitness News

Posted on March 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Bacchus the 43rd, actor Andy Garcia, made the traditional stop at Children's Hospital, and drew laughs when I asked him if he has ever done anything like this before.

"Well, I have a couple of kingly outfits at home. Sometimes you just got to get lucky, so this is, no I've never been the king of any parade...

"One of the early kings Bob Hope was a neighbor of mine, so the fact that I would be in the same league as someone like Bob Hope, and putt on his putting green."

Garcia may be king, but Robert Maddox the Fifth stole the show when he presented him with a specially made crown. Little Boo as he is called, has been in the hospital for 475 days because of Swine Flu.

"He might be king of the Bacchus, but I'm king of the hospital," said Little Boo.

The king of the parade spent at least an hour at the hospital, enjoying the chance to meet the patients.

"Being a father you know it is, when you see children like that who are hurting and suffering, you feel you are blessed when you know that if your children are doing well, how that could turn on a dime any given day," said Garcia. Asked if he made them smile, Garcia replied, "A little bit, yeah. They made me smile."

He's never seen Mardi Gras, and only visited New Orleans once before.

"I was here once after Katrina, during the relief effort, very brief visit. But I've never been into the city of New Orleans, But I was for the first time last night walking around near Bourbon Street. We got into Bourbon Street, but it was a little bit, already getting crazy."

This is where Andy Garcia will be sitting on Sunday when the parade rolls, and these are the doubloons he'll be throwing. They have his likeness on them, but this year they're silver. And when the parade rolls he's going to get a welcome from the City of New Orleans like nothing he's ever experienced before, and he can't wait.

"Whatever I could imagine would not be possible, we'll be stunned. I'm ready to get stunned."

 And he left the audience laughing when I asked him what he expects from the parade.

"Cocktails," he said, and there was a burst of laughter.