Residents celebrate kickoff of Carnival season with parades, fireworks

Saturday marked the beginning of Carnival season. In addition to fireworks, several parades rolled through town.

NEW ORLEANS – It’s that time of year again where folks are geared up to party during Mardi Gras in the Big Easy. 

Saturday marked the beginning of Carnival season. In addition to fireworks, several parades rolled through town. 

Hundreds of people lined parts of the French Quarter to make sure they got the right spot for the Joan of Arc parade. 

“We came down for a family vacation it's two families and nine of us,” Darren Melhus, who is visiting from Canada, said. 

The 10th annual walking parade, which volunteers participate in as they dress up as medieval jesters or friars is something they look forward to every year. 

"Today we have a little over 600 people that will be marching, including five horses, three large full-size puppets,” one volunteer, Antoineete Dealteriis, said. 

Even some people went to the parade dressed up as Joan herself. 

"I love Joan of Arc and I love this parade and all the other Joans were taken. I figured the easiest thing would be a statue,” parade goer Brooke Sauvage said. 

The parade honors Joan of Arc on her birthday. It also kicks off the start of Carnival in the Big Easy. 

"Lucky for us and for all you Joan of Arc was born on January 6th, we didn't make that up, so it's just one of these beautiful synchronistic things,” Amy Kirk-Duvosion, founder of the Joan of Arc parade said.   

People even waited for the Societe des Champs Elysee parade on Rampart to celebrate Twelfth Night. People had the chance to take the streetcar from Rampart to Union Station and back. 

For first timers, they prepared themselves for anything. 

"So, in terms of what to expect, we don't know to expect. We're excited for it but to see excitement like this, to see crowds like this too, we can feel it in the air,” Michael Rossi, first-time parade goer, said. 


 

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