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It’s Mardi Gras season in New Orleans! Check out these photos from some of our viewers.

Do you have a good pic? Send it to pics@wgno.com.

Ever wonder what it’s like to ride on a float. We attached a GoPro camera to one of the floats in Endymion this weekend. Check it out! Mardi Gras 2014!

The Party started hours ago Uptown.  Four parades wowed crowds on the Uptown route.  Okeanos, Krewe of Mid-City and Bacchus.

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez takes you to the fun.

Usually you don’t think of Mardi Gras near the Lakefront, but that’s where you’ll find a tribute to all the Carnival Krewes.

News with a Twist’s Kenny Lopez takes you to the Mardi Gras fountain on Lakeshore Drive.

(WGNO) - “Earliest memories of Mardi Gras: It was Canal St., where we’d go with my parents.  We’d put on a costume of some sort, and get on a ladder.”

John P. “Jack” Laborde remembers going downtown for Mardi Gras as a child and seeing the Rex Parade.   He never thought one day he would be the King of Carnival.

“It’s on your list of things you may accomplish in life. But, so few people get this honor,” says Laborde.

This year, Laborde will have that honor. He will reign as Rex 2014.

See who the Queen is, here.

Laborde has been a part of the organization for 30 years.  But, when he got the news he would be king, he actually thought something else was happening.

“There were actually a bunch of long and serious faces looking at me,” says Laborde. “One of them said, ‘We’re going to ask you to ride somewhere else this year.’  And I’m thinking, aww, gonedoggit.  And then he says, ‘Further back.’  I said okay.  He said, ‘On a float.’  And I’m… oh no– which is a nice place, but I like my place up front on a horse.  And he said, ‘Well, we’re going to let you ride on the king’s float.’ And I thought to myself, I’m too old to be a page.  So I said, ‘That’ll work.’”

Being Rex isn’t just about presiding over a parade and ball.  It’s also about giving back to the community.

The Rex motto is “Pro bono public” — for the public good.  And, Laborde has been working on behalf of the people of New Orleans for a long time.

He’s currently Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Sugar Bowl Committee and is fighting to keep the Superdome in the mix as  college football switches to a playoff system.

Just another day at work for the king of carnival–a title Laborde is grateful to have.

“It’s an honor representing that group in this parade on that day.”

(WGNO) –   This year’s Queen of Carnival is Carroll Irene Gelderman, who  comes from a long line of Rex royalty which includes another queen, her mother.

“She was queen in 1982. I have a great-uncle that was king in 1992. I have a host of cousins, uncles, and aunts that were maids and dukes in the court.  And,  my great-grandmother was a maid in 1925,” says Gelderman.

But, it takes more than who went before you to be chosen as Queen of Rex.  You have to deserve it, too.

See who the King of Carnival is, here.

At Louise S. McGehee, she was a star athlete, valedictorian, and student body president.

She’s now attending Columbia University, where she has spent time studying overseas.

“I studied abroad in Italy two summers ago.  I got to brush up on my Italian, which was great. I got to travel a bit–went to Berlin. And, last summer I was in the Dominican Republic studying science,” says Gelderman.

But, with all that traveling, she’s still a New Orleans girl.

“I can’t imagine not living in New Orleans.”

Although, a trip to Hollywood may be another option.

“I’d really like to work in the film industry right after graduating.  I’m really interested in development, finding scripts, and finding directors to attach to them,” says Gelderman.

Now, she’s getting ready for her own Hollywood moment on Mardi Gras day.

And it’s not easy being the queen.  But it’s better when you’ve got a mom who’s been there before.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have her alongside me this year.  She’s a wealth of knowledge and she’s done it all before,” says Gelderman.

“I envision it being a whirlwind, but a fun whirlwind. I’m incredibly excited.  It’s been so much fun getting ready for it.  And, I can’t believe it’s almost here.”

The Krewe of Rex is about ready to roll, but first we get an inside look into the Rex Den. We talked with Rex archivist Dr. Stephen Hales who gave us an inside look into the floats.

Mardi Gras is in full swing! Here is a schedule of the remaining parades.

Wednesday, February 26th

  • 6:30 p.m. Krewe of Druids – Uptown
  • 7 p.m. Krewe of Nyx – Uptown

Thursday, February 27th

  • 5:45 p.m. Knights of Babylon – Uptown
  • 6:30 p.m. Krewe of Muses – Uptown
  • 6:30 p.m. Knights of Chaos – Uptown

Friday, February 28th

  • 6 p.m. Krewe of Hermes – Uptown
  • 6:30 p.m. Krewe d’Etat – Uptown
  • 6:30 p.m. Krewe of Selene – Slidell
  • 7 p.m. Krewe of Morpheus – Uptown
  • 7 p.m. Krewe of Centurions – Metairie

Saturday, March 1

  • 10:45 a.m. Krewe of NOMTOC – West Bank
  • 11 a.m. Krewe of Iris – Uptown
  • 12 p.m. Krewe of Tucks – Uptown
  • 4:15 p.m. Krewe of Endymion – Mid-City
  • 6:30 p.m. Krewe of Isis – Metairie

Sunday, March 2

  • 11 a.m. Krewe of Okeanos – Uptown
  • 11:45 a.m. Krewe of Mid-City – Uptown
  • 12 p.m. Krewe of Thoth – Uptown
  • 5:15 p.m. Krewe of Bacchus – Uptown
  • 5:30 p.m. Corps de Napoleon – Metairie

Monday, March 3

  • 5:15 p.m. Krewe of Proteus – Uptown
  • 6 p.m. Krewe of Orpheus – Uptown
  • 6:15 p.m. Krewe of Hera – Metairie
  • 7 p.m. Krewe of Zeus – Metairie

Tuesday, March 4th, Mardi Gras Day

  • 8 a.m. Krewe of Zulu – Uptown
  • 10 a.m. Krewe of Rex – Uptown
  • followed by Krewe of Elks Orleans – Uptown
  • followed by Krewe of Crescent City – Uptown
  • 10 a.m. Krewe of Grela – Westbank
  • 10 a.m. Krewe of Argus – Metairie
  • followed by Krewe of Jefferson – Metairie
  • followed by Krewe of Elks Jefferson – Metairie
  • 10 a.m. Krewe of Lyra – Covington

Carnival 2014 is in full swing.  Several parades rolled throughout the weekend.  Today, the umbrellas, ponchos, and tents kept festive parade-goers dry.

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez takes us Uptown to the parades.

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