Every year, a north-central French town in the heart of the Loire Valley celebrates a parade to commemorate Joan of Arc’s victory against the British Army. This town is called Orléans– a familiar name, perhaps? Orléans, France is the sister-city of New Orleans, Louisiana and they even have their own Mardi Gras. On the anniversary of Joan of Arc’s victory the municipality holds a 10-day festival, “Fête de Jeanne d’Arc”. This special historical occasion has been celebrated every year since her victory in 1429. The Orléans’ festival’s Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parade inspired the our very own New Orleans’ Mardi Gras ensemble.
On May 8, members of New Orleans-based Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc will walk in the 589th annual parade in Orléans, France by invitation of Orléans Mayor Olivier Carré. “We’re so excited to finally see the Orléans parade in person in our sister city, especially as it was one of the initial inspirations for our local parade. It’s a true honor to participate in what I consider our ‘big sister’ parade,” said Amy Kirk Duvoisin, Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc Captain and Founder.
The invitation pays homage to our city’s long-lasting relationship with France and deep influence of French culture.
New Orleans’ Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parades every year on January 6– the Twelfth Night– in the French Quarter to celebrate Joan of Arc’s birthday. January 6, 2018 was both the 606th birthday of Joan of Arc and the tenth anniversary of the French Quarter parade. In the 2017 parade, special guests from Orléans, France made an appearance in the Big Easy to toast the parade and donate costumes from France in celebration of the parade sisterhood. The Krewe’s costume director Antoinette de Alteriis dressed up as historical figure Jean Poton de Xaintrelles, in one of the French costumes loaned by the Orléans delegation. “One of the high points of our 10th anniversary Joan of Arc parade this year was wearing an Orléans costume brought in person by their delegation. I look forward to now wearing our local costumes for their parade,” de Alteriis said.