NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell congratulated the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission on its first-ever Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball for those with special needs.
“The City’s first Special Needs Mardi Gras Ball was a huge success and had such a great turnout at Joe W. Brown Rec Center,” said Mayor Cantrell. “I want to thank the staff at NORD and all of our families for showing up and making it an amazing night for our Special Needs community and all who attended. NORD continues to create and provide free and accessible opportunities for all at facilities throughout the city.”
About 400 attendees participated in the ball, presented by the NORD Multi-Programs Division at Joe W. Brown Recreation Center. Participants had the opportunity to be exposed to a formal atmosphere and participate in an event they can enjoy during the Carnival season. The evening included a red carpet, food, and entertainment by DJ Ron, DJ Jubilee, Rechell Cook, Casme’, and the One Shot Brass Band.
The evening also featured its own royalty, which included the crowning of Ronnie VanPran as Adult King, Briantea Legania as Adult Queen, Kirkland Sterling as Young King, and Londyn Hayes as Young Queen.
There also were special guests from local New Orleans Carnival krewes, including Muses, Rex and the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
Volunteers were provided by Boys Town Louisiana, Dillard University, Warren Easton High School, New Orleans Maritime & Military Academy, Women Giving Back, ARC of Greater New Orleans, and DePaul Community Health Center.