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OFFICIAL KREWE OF BACCHUS WEBSITE
www.kreweofbacchus.org


Bacchus XXXIX
James Gandolfini

“SOPRANOS” STAR GANDOLFINI
TO REIGN AS BACCHUS 2007

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Krewe of Bacchus has announced that popular actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role as Tony Sporano in the long-running HBO drama “The Sopranos,” will reign as Bacchus XXXIX when the krewe hits the streets of New Orleans the night of Sunday, February 18, 2007.

Most identifiable as the troubled no-nonsense boss of the Soprano crime family, Gandolfini began his acting career in the New York theatre where he debuted on Broadway in the 1992 revival of the Tennessee Williams classic “A Streetcar Named Desire,” co-starring Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. Gandolfini’s breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil, the brutal, woman-beating mob enforcer in Tony Scott’s 1993 “True Romance.”

Gandolfini has portrayed mob boss Tony Soprano since “The Sopranos” premiered on HBO in 1999. The series has received wide acclaim and multiple awards, including three Best Actor Emmys for Gandolfini’s word as Best Actor in a Dramatic Series.

Gandolfini has appeared in numerous big-screen productions alongside actors such as Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, Nicholas Cage, Robert Redford and John Travolta.

Most recently, Gandolfini has spent time in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana filming “All The King’s Men,” a movie about a corrupt Louisiana politician loosely based on the life of Huey P. Long starring Sean Penn, Jude Law, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet.

During his time in the state, Gandolfini came out as a strong supporter of the post-Hurricane Katrina restoration and recovery effort in and around the New Orleans area. Like Sean Penn, who participated in on the spot rescues immediately after the hurricane’s aftermath, Gandolfini has openly committed to the ongoing effort to save and preserve the unique culture of the battered New Orleans region.

The Captain and staff of the Krewe of Bacchus cited this dedication and obvious love of the city of New Orleans as of the main factors in their selection of Gandolfini to reign over their 2007 revelry.

Bacchus, one of the first New Orleans Mardi Gras “Super Krewes,” is best-known for its massive double- and triple-tier Super Floats that carry over a thousand bead- and doubloon-throwing participants through the streets of New Orleans during the uproarious yearly celebration. Members gather from all parts of the United States, some from as far away as Canada and Europe, to experience the madness that is Mardi Gras.

Bacchus was the first New Orleans Krewe to introduce the tradition of a celebrity king and as Bacchus XXXIX Gandolfini joins other luminaries such as the late Danny Kaye (Bacchus I), Kirk Douglas, William Shatner, Nicholas Cage, and Elijah Wood (Frodo from “The Lord of the Rings”) who have all enjoyed reigns as the Lord of Wine and Mayhem.

The Krewe of Bacchus will parade through the streets of New Orleans on the evening of Sunday, February 18, 2007, following the traditional Uptown route.

For more information on Bacchus XXXIX and the Krewe of Bacchus visit the official Krewe website at www.kreweofbacchus.org

Greek mythology, was the god of wine and vegetation. He showed mortals how to cultivate grapevines and make wine.

As the son of Zeus, Bacchus is usually characterized in one of two ways:

First, as the god of vegetation specifically of the fruit of the trees. Eventually, he became the popular Greek god of wine and cheer, and wine miracles were reputedly performed at certain of his festivals. According to tradition, Bacchus died each winter and was reborn in the spring. To his followers, this cyclical revival, accompanied by the seasonal renewal of the fruits of the earth, embodied the promise of the resurrection of the dead.

The yearly rites in honor of the resurrection of Bacchus gradually evolved into the structured form of the Greek drama, and important festivals were held in honor of the god, during which great dramatic competitions were conducted.

The Krewe of Bacchus parade was founded in 1968 by a handful of New Orleans business leaders whose dream was to revitalize Carnival. However, the seeds of the Krewe of Bacchus were actually sown two decades before the present carnival organization was founded.

The original Krewe of Bacchus was the brainchild of Owen Edward Brennan, Sr., a true visionary. Brennan, owner of the Absinthe House, a famous bar on Bourbon Street, and later founder of the word famous Brennan’s Restaurant on Royal Street, was also the father of the first Captain of Bacchus, Owen "Pip" Brennan, Jr., and his brothers, Jimmy and Ted.

In the late 1940’s, Brennan realized that a large segment of his clientele was seasonally unhappy – namely tourists to the Mardi Gras. At that time, Carnival balls at Mardi Gras were predominately closed to anyone outside of New Orleans’ society circles.

So, In 1949, Brennan decided to spend an enormous amount of money, buck the entrenched New Orleans Society, and revolutionize the Mardi Gras. He did so by creating a brand new Krewe, called the Krewe of Bacchus, wide open to tourists.

Brennan staged two Bacchus Carnival balls, one in 1949 and the other in 1950 before his death in 1955. Regrettably, he did not live to see his idea develop into a new and lasting form.

Fast forward to 1968. For years, Carnival in New Orleans had been losing its luster slowly but surely. There was a lot of talk around town about what should be done to give a spark to the celebration.

Early in 1968, Owen "Pip" Brennan, Jr., son of the late Brennan, held a meeting at Brennan’s Restaurant to address this problem. What emerged was a rebirth of the vision his father conceived almost 20 years earlier: The Krewe of Bacchus.

It was decided that the Krewe of Bacchus would break with Carnival tradition by staging a Sunday night parade that would be the highlight of the Carnival season. Its floats would be bigger and more spectacular than anything previously seen in Carnival. Furthermore, Bacchus decided to have a national celebrity king lead its parade, breaking ranks with 113 years of Carnival tradition.

On Sunday, February 16, 1969, the Krewe of Bacchus staged its first Mardi Gras parade. The theme was "The Best Things In Life", and the procession was led by celebrity king Danny Kaye. The 250 member, 15 float entourage took to the streets of New Orleans showering thousands of spectators with over a million strings of beads and 300,000 doubloons. The new parade was a smashing success.

The Krewe of Bacchus had left a lasting mark on the City of New Orleans and had proven to be the boost that the Carnival season so desperately needed.

Now, with more than 1,000 members and 31 animated super-floats, the Krewe of Bacchus is revered as one of the most spectacular Krewes in Carnival history.

Pip Brennan still serves as Captain of The Krewe of Bacchus; overseeing each detail with great pride and meticulous perfection. He is now joined by his three sons, Owen, III, Clark, and Blake, all of whom serve on the Krewe's Board of Directors. Owen, III also serves as the Krewe's Executive Director. Like their grandfather, father and uncles, this third generation of the Brennan family shares the same love of Mardi Gras and New Orleans.





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2017 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 2017

 

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