New Orleans’ Carnival, also known as the ‘Mardi Gras season’ in New Orleans, begins each year on ‘Twelfth Night’ (January 6) and concludes Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day onTuesday, February 28. To help the season begin, Rex, King of Carnival issues a proclamation to the world. “The Rex 2017 Royal Proclamation continues a carnival tradition more than a century old,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “The proclamation signals that it is time to make plans to travel to New Orleans’ most famous celebration, yet another demonstration of how unique New Orleans is to the world."
The Rex Organizaion was founded in 1872 when a group of young New Orleans leaders created a daytime parade and issued a proclamation, inviting all to come to the Crescent City to join in its unique Mardi Gras celebration. In the days before mass media, broadcast, and tourism industries, the beautiful art posters and brochures were distributed in railroad stations, plastered on train cars, posted in centers of commerce, and placed in public buildings around the nation in major U.S. cities.
“Carnival season is one of the most exciting times of the year with celebrations leading up to Mardi Gras, which is Tuesday, February 28th this year. It’s just another Tuesday everywhere else in the world, but in New Orleans it is a day that we celebrate our distinct history and culture,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Mardi Gras embodies why people travel to New Orleans year round – great food, lively music and always a reason to celebrate.”
The 2017 Proclamation incorporates artwork from 1886, inviting visitors to “gather, from far and near, to join in the many celebrations and processions which will shortly unfold under the joyful Carnival banner.”
Each year, both the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) issue an electronic version of the Invitation to the nation and to international destinations, as well as over 60,000 travel trade professionals and tour operators. Both tourism corporations will feature the Royal Invitation on their websites.