When Carnival begins each year on “Twelfth Night,” the city delivered a proclamation, created by the Rex organization's School of Design, to citizens around the world beckoning them to attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
“It is only fitting that the city of New Orleans join with Rex, King of Carnival, to invite visitors to our city,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOTMC. “The Rex 2013 Royal Invitation renews a carnival tradition more than a century old.”
The Rex Organization began creating its Royal Invitation in 1872 when a group of young New Orleans leaders decided to issue invitations and a proclamation, inviting all to come to the Crescent City to join in its unique Mardi Gras celebration. In the days before mass media, broadcast, and tourism industries, the beautiful art posters and brochures were distributed in railroad stations, plastered on train cars, posted in centers of commerce, and placed in public buildings around the nation in major U.S. cities.
“We are so pleased to be able to share this great tradition with our customers and friends all over the world,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the NOCVB. “The early officials of Rex acted much in the spirit of the CVB in the late 1800s, inviting travelers to the city for the Carnival season. We continue in that tradition today, and to be able to hearken back to the Rex organization's history and use modern technology to share their message is exciting. No other city can utilize such a document in this unique way.”
The 2013 Royal Invitation incorporates artwork from 1886, inviting visitors to “gather, from far and near, to join in the many celebrations and processions which will shortly unfold under the joyful Carnival banner.”
Each year, both the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau will issue an electronic version of the Invitation across the country to media, as well as over 60,000 travel trade professionals and tour operators. Both tourism corporations will feature the Royal Invitation on their website's homepage.