12th Night kicks off Carnival season

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Down comes the tree and out comes the King Cake. In most places, today's Feast of the Epiphany ends the Christmas season. Yet, here it's also a beginning.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu presides over his last King's Day as mayor, helping to cut the cake, marking the start of a monumental Carnival season.

"It really is the spirit, of not only Carnival but the city of New Orleans. Anytime we come together in fellowship in celebration, we know that we're starting off our year to be grand and there's no better time than the 300th birthday of the city of New Orleans," said Mayor-Elect Latoya Cantrell.

Local leaders gathered for the official announcement, Mardi Gras is on the way.

They indulged in King Cake, celebrating "12th Night" with krewes ready for this year's festivities.

"All the fun, all the revelry, all the things that you could want and see about Mardi Gras is what Zulus going to represent this year," said Naaman Stewart.

This is Stewart's last year as Zulu President. He says he couldn't be more excited about what lies ahead in the coming month.

"Today is going to be the beginning of a very long, fun-filled season for the city of New Orleans, while we're celebrating the 300th anniversary of the city of New Orleans," said Stewart.

It was a similar scene in Jefferson Parish, where krewes were just as eager for the season to begin.

"I just like to ride on that float and throw the throws to the children," said Bob Carnesi.

Carnesi is captain of the Krewe of Caesar, now in its nearly 40th year.

He says the krewe has a lot in store for those along the parade route this year.

"We're just happy to be here and kick off the Mardi Gras season," Carnesi said.

It's a sentiment shared by many across the metro.

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