Louisiana’s second float this holiday season, the “Feed Your Soul” also known as the “Louisiana Celebration Riverboat”, will make its debut in the 2023 Rose Parade on Jan. 2.
The “Louisiana Celebration Riverboat” float shares a similar name to its companion, the “Celebration Gator” which already made its yearly run in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Like the “Celebration Gator” this float will exhibit some of Louisiana’s charm and depict a popular Louisiana icon – the riverboat.
“We love a parade in Louisiana and we will be kicking off carnival season a few days early on January 2 when our float rolls through the streets of Pasadena,” Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser said in a media release made by his office.
The riverboat which some know as a paddlewheel steamboat will be solely decorated with flowers, leaves and seeds.
With last year’s float bringing home the Wrigley Legacy Award for the most outstanding display of floral presentation, float design and entertainment; the “Louisiana Celebration Riverboat” float will have to lavished with botanical ornamentation to win another award.
Country Music Association Award winner and 2022 Academy of Country Music New Female of the Year winner Lainey Wilson will perform on the “Louisiana Celebration Riverboat.”
Along with Wilson, 20 queens from all over the state of Louisiana and a former patient of the Shriners Hospital in Shreveport, Amber DeFatta, will ride the float through the parade route.
The queens are meant to represent the best of Louisiana and its industries.
To represent the state’s tourism industry, the five main sponsors of the float consists of convention and visitors bureaus and tourism boards from across the state and are listed below:
- Tangipahoa Convention and Visitors Bureau represented by Kirstin Drozd, Louisiana Strawberry Queen
- Visit Baton Rouge represented by Rose Hudson, Karnival Krewe de Louisiane
- Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission represented by Emily Leleux, Miss Scott Boudin Festival Queen IX
- Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau represented by Emma Rose Giddens, Miss Merry Christmas
- Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau represented by Amber DeFatta, Shriners Hospital 100th Anniversary
This year’s theme “Turning the Corner” is meant to capture the essence of beginning again or having a fresh start according to the Tournament of Roses website.
To embrace the theme, each of the five sponsors listed earlier will explain how their region has turned the corner for a better and brighter tomorrow.
“It is thrilling to be joined this year by our sponsors and to host these 20 Louisiana queens aboard the Louisiana float,” said Lt. Governor Nungesser. “All our efforts in the travel and tourism industry in Louisiana are focused on working with our local partners to drive visitation to every corner of the state. As I always say, if you can eat it, shoot it, catch it, or dance to it, we name a festival after it in Louisiana. This year’s riders are wonderful stewards of our festivals and culture, but also outstanding members of their community that demonstrate the welcoming and neighborly nature of Louisianans.”
To read about how each parish or area readied for the future, overcame hardships or to know more of their histories click HERE.
The 16 other queens representing Louisiana and their specific industry or region are:
- KT Scannell, Miss Louisiana USA
- Gracie Reichman, Miss Louisiana America
- Catherine Blondiau, Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival Queen
- Amber Hope Borne, LA Cotton Queen LXVIII
- Emma Carter, Queen Dixie Gem Peach LXXI
- Jadyn Devillier, Gueydan Duck Festival Queen
- Jordan Fuqua, Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Queen
- Jordan Ann Gallegos, 87th Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival Queen
- Avery Claire Hebert, Louisiana Queen Sugar LXXIX
- Mary Laura Hunt, Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen
- Shelby Marie LaSalle, 85th Greater New Orleans Floral Trail Queen
- Leiton LeBlanc, 2022 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Queen
- Kaydee Meshell, Miss Zwolle Tamale Fiesta
- Kelsey Mire, Louisiana Pecan Festival Queen 54
- Allison Powell, 2022 Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation Queen
- Sadie Zaunbrecher, 85th International Rice Festival Queen