HP Student Joins Mardi Gras Tradition

Sam Lembcke and Anthony Mackie (Photo: Steve Randon)
Sam Lembcke and Anthony Mackie (Photo: Steve Randon)

This February, Armstrong Elementary fourth-grader Sam Lembcke joined a Bacchanalian revel in New Orleans – the good kind.

The Krewe of Bacchus Parade has become one of the main draws of Carnival, the two-week festival leading up to Mardi Gras. With glittering animated super-floats, marching bands, and black-tie Rendezvous supper dance with Las Vegas-style entertainment that draws thousands, the parade centers around a different celebrity “monarch” each year who represents Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and basically the king of partying.¬†

This year, Lembcke was invited to participate in the parade as a Page to Bacchus XLVIII, the sixty-eighth King of Bacchus. The parade took place on Sunday, February 7, and ran through downtown and uptown New Orleans, with New Orleans-born actor Anthony Mackie (Triple 9) acting as King of Bacchus.

As page, Lembcke rode along with Mackie in the King’s Float, which led the parade and bore the theme, “Flights of Delight”. In keeping with tradition, he threw beads and special king and page doubloons to the crowds throughout the procession. Lembcke was one of eighteen pages involved. When he is of age, he hopes to continue participating in Carnival as a Bacchus Riding Lieutenant, the Carnival take on traditional Roman soldiers who led the ruler’s procession through the streets of ancient Rome.

More photos of the parade can be seen here.

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