Visit New Orleans promotes diversity with ‘Reverse Mardi Gras’ parade

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Group is sending a strong message with a powerful new video about inclusion.

Tourism leaders and local community members staged what they called a “reverse parade,” with the message that New Orleans is “always open.”  Through word of mouth, some four hundred citizens gathered at Bourbon and St. Ann streets in the French Quarter.

Donning full make-up, Mardi Gras garb, beads, or just plain clothes, participants marched backwards in a symbolic gesture, shedding colorful clothing and masks along the way. Everything stopped, quiet ensued, then a flag appeared stating “We Are Never Going Back.”

Music then filled the streets as participants marched forward in celebration.

The impactful film was directed by Trent Jaklitsch.  In less than 24 hours on Facebook, it had already received nearly a million views and more than 15,000 shares.

“New Orleans has a history of welcoming all people all the time,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

“The amount of excitement and numbers of citizens who came to participate in the parade and film is a testament to the city’s determination to never relinquish its achievements in human rights.”

For more information about the campaign, visit



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