NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Royal Sonesta is preparing for this Mardi Gras season with its 53rd annual greasing of the poles.

This year’s theme is “Grease Like a Royal.” Contestants will show their greasing skills as they take a shot at the 2023 Greasing Champion title.

Filled with fun memories and bragging rights, participants also get to partake in an important part of Mardi Gras history.

The greasing of the poles is a safety precaution that started in the 70’s by greasing the building support poles to stop party goers from climbing the the hotel’s picturesque balcony.

The event will be Friday, February 17, at 10:00 in morning outside the hotel on Bourbon Street.

This year, WGNO meteorologist Brooke Laizer will be one of the greasing contestants, and reporter Kenny Lopez will serve as a judge. Kenny has also won the event as a contestant.

Other special guests include royalty from some of the top krewes as well as Mardi Gras Indians. Leroy Jones and the Original Hurricane Brass Band will perform.

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