NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Actor Mario Lopez will serve as this year’s Krewe of Orpheus monarch, alongside founder Harry Connick Jr., and a few other celebrity guests, according to Orpheus captain Sonny Borey.
“Of course, leading our parade as usual, is Harry Connick Jr. Our other monarchs are Mario Lopez, Trace Adkins, and the Impractical Jokers. It should be a fun, fun night,” Borey said.
Borey said Connick will also perform at the ball.
"Before Harry performs, we always have the 610 Stompers come in, and after the whole parade comes through, they gather around the captain's platform, and they do a hell of a wonderful dance," Borey said.
Country singer Trace Adkins and Prince’s band, NPG will also take the stage.
This year’s theme is “Orpheus Imaginarium," according to Derek Franklin, the krewe’s executive vice president and artistic director.
“Our floats this year are going to be decorated with themes such as the Cup of Destiny, or the Witch’s Kitchen, or the Castle of Life. Things that have a magical or spiritual intonation to them that we can just go crazy with the decorations around them,” Franklin said.
Franklin said this year's theme will focus on the magical, with creative influences from the past and the future.
“Hopefully, when people are looking at this float, these floats go down the street, they’re not just screaming for beads. They’re also stepping back and taking a look at the visuals, because we want to have this parade as more of a magical event than just screaming for throws,” Franklin said.
As for float decorations in other parades, carnival historian Arthur Hardy said it’s likely that many krewes, especially the satirical ones, will reference the devastating Saints NFC championship game.
“I’m certain that you’re gonna see at least two parades, probably Chaos and d’Etat are known for their satire, to take a good crack at the NFL, and what happened to the Saints that kept us out of the Super Bowl,” Hardy said.
While most krewes take all year to work on their floats, some wait to incorporate relevant topics.
“The krewes like d’Etat and Chaos always wait til the very last minute, and save one float that they can do something topical on,” Hardy said.
Hardy said he believes some pre-season parades will also reference the game.
"You know, it's all in fun, but we take our fun seriously in New Orleans, especially if you mess with the Saints," Hardy said.
As far as Orpheus, the captain said they may have another surprise up his sleeve.
"We might be announcing another celebrity, but we're going to wait to do that," Borey said.
The parade will roll on Lundi Gras, which is March 3.