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 LaToya Cantrell at Gallier Hall for the official kick off.
Rex 2019, Robert S. Boh, officially proclaimed Carnival 2020 and presented Mayor Cantrell with a framed version of the “Royal Invitation,” a document incorporating 19th Century artwork and styled after early 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. 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 is disseminated world-wide by New Orleans and Company tourism officials using the internet and social media. Read the New Orleans and Company press release.
The 2020 Rex Proclamation, the work of noted New Orleans artist Molly McGuire, was also unveiled at the Mayor’s Twelfth Night event. Ms. McGuire’s artwork illustrates “Omens and Auguries,” the theme of the 2020 Rex procession. Images of prophets and portents appear along with Rex symbols in the colorful style that has made Ms. McGuire a rising star in the vibrant New Orleans art scene.