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1898 'Mardi Gras Carnival' film added to National Film Registry

The film was discovered in Amsterdam and features the oldest living footage of the Krewe of Rex rolling.
Credit: National Film Registry

NEW ORLEANS — The United States Library of Congress has announced the addition of a short film entitled Mardi Gras Carnival  to the National Film Registry. 

Mardi Gras Carnival is an 1898 film of the Krewe of Rex rolling through New Orleans.

Earlier this year, the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam discovered the oldest surviving film of the parade in its collection following a previous request from the Louisiana State Museum.

Mardi Gras Carnival includes part of Rex rolling, and shows the floats and riders. This edition of Rex also included a live bull. The theme of Rex that year was "Harvest Queens."

The film became the focus of attention thanks to its inclusion in the Rex: The 150th Anniversary of the School of Design exhibition curated by the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans.

“As we gear up for the kickoff of carnival season in Louisiana which starts with Twelfth Night on January 6, this film takes us back in time to show us what Mardi Gras parades were like almost 125 years ago. While there are many traditions in the city that are the backbone of the annual celebration, the image of Rex parading through the streets of New Orleans is known worldwide. Now, thanks in part to the Louisiana State Museum, this rare footage is preserved for many generations to come,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

Watch the film Mardi Gras Carnival below.

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