By long tradition the Carnival season begins on January 6 with the celebration of Twelfth Night, and Rex leaders joined other Carnival organizations and Mayor Mitch Landrieu at Mardi Gras World for the official kick off.
Rex leaders presented Mayor Landrieu with a framed version of the “Royal Invitation,” a document incorporating 19th Century artwork styled after the Rex proclamations posted in train stations and elsewhere around the country. These notices commanded all to come to New Orleans and celebrate “under the Joyful Carnival Banner.”
These colorful proclamations and invitations succeeded—people responded enthusiastically and came to New Orleans by the thousands to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Today’s expanded Carnival events are a major driver of the city’s important tourism industry.
Today’s “Royal Invitation” is no longer posted in train stations, but disseminated world-wide by the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Board using the internet and social media. Read the NOTMC’s press release.
The 2018 Rex Proclamation, the work of noted New Orleans artist Tim Trapolin, was also unveiled at the Twelfth Night event. Mr. Trapolin attended the Tulane School of Architecture, graduating from Tulane with a degree in fine art followed by post-graduate studies at the Royal College of Art in London. His proclamation depicts the figure of La Louisiane holding the de Pauger plan of La Nouvelle Orleans, symbolizing our French roots. Bienville, Iberville, an alligator and the Boeuf Gras also appear.