Louisiana float wins award, musicians perform in Rose Parade

PASADENA, California – Louisiana musicians, artists and state tourism officials let the good times roll at the 135th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

The Mardi Gras-themed “Explore Louisiana” float won the Rose Parade’s Showmanship Award for the most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment, according to the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

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The 2024 Louisiana float featured a larger-than-life jester, second line umbrellas, fleur-dis-lis and other Carnival elements.

Volunteers decorated the float using over 130,000 orchids, roses, fresh flowers and plant-based materials, according to Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

The theme of this year’s parade was “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language” and featured 35 floats, marching bands, dancers and equestrian units.

The lieutenant governor and local tourism officials from across the state rode in the parade. Nungesser said musicians and float riders were selected because they “represent a variety of genres of music [that] Louisiana either created or influenced throughout history.”

Grammy-nominated Creole Zydeco artist Sean Ardoin, Cajun fiddler Amanda Shaw, and legendary guitarist James Burton performed live.

Louisiana float riders included:

  • Sydney “Big Sid” Williams; Owner of El Sid O’s Zydeco & Blues Club
  • Katrice Lacour, Zydeco musician
  • Curtis Doucette, Jr., lead developer of renovations at Dew Drop Inn
  • Kasia Trepagnier, actress/producer
  • Kennidy Elizabeth Ann Peavy, 2023 Southwest Louisiana Miss Queen Mardi Gras
  • Jordyn Finlyn Kelley, 64th Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival Queen
  • Laura Jane Kirkpatrick, Miss Louisiana’s Teen 2023
  • Zharia Lemar, Miss Festival of the Bonfires XXXIII
  • Destiny Wilrye, 2023 Miss Ragley Heritage and Timber Festival
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This was the third consecutive year Louisiana featured a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. In January 2023, the Louisiana float won the Showmanship award. The parade is one of the most-watched events on New Year’s Day.

Lt. Governor Nungesser said the Rose Parade is a great opportunity to promote Louisiana culture and tourism to millions of people.

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