Popular Carnival krewes still without celebrity riders

Popular Carnival krewes still without celebrity riders

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thousands will line the streets to watch some of the most prestigious krewes parade in all their glory this Carnival season. But as anticipation builds, there's a looming question for Orpheus and Bacchus: Who will be the Monarch or celebrities riders?

"You have to figure they're just having difficulty getting some celebrity to commit," said FOX 8 Mardi Gras expert and Carnival historian Arthur Hardy.

Big names like John C. Reilly, Will Farrell and Andy Garcia have reigned as Bacchus in the past.

"The hospitality and generosity of everyone in New Orleans, especially Clark and his family, have been overwhelming and made me feel so special. I really have to say, it's good to be the king," said John C. Reilly during his 2015 reign.

"They come once, and they'll  come back every year. You've got to get them here, and once you do, they love it and they want to come back," Hardy said.

But Hardy said it's becoming more and more difficult to book celebrities.

"They have clauses in their contract, 30 days out," he said. "If a million-dollar movie deal comes along, they're out."

He said in some cases, the celebrity really want to ride, but their agents won't allow it because of security or insurance reasons.

Even though it's later than ever, Bacchus will have a monarch, even if it's a local celebrity.

Orpheus tells FOX 8, there will be an announcement next week.

"I've heard they've really got some top celebrities that just haven't signed the dotted line yet," Hardy said.

The Super Krewe of Endymion's Grand Marshal, Doug Thornton, will ride this year, but celebrities Pitbull and Steven Tyler will not. To see them, you'll have to get a ticket to the Extravaganza where both will perform for the crowd.

"These parades are so spectacular, they really don't need celebrities," Hardy said. "They may need them to entertain at the parties, but in terms of attracting people to the parade route, they don't need them. I mean, how many more people are you going to get to these parades? Some of these celebrities pass in 10 seconds and they're gone, so they're almost a victim of their own traditions."

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