The Big Easy Shows It Is ‘Always Open’
New Orleans tourism and people from all over the community came together at New Orleans’ famous Bourbon and St. Ann streets to march together in its inaugural Reverse Parade.
Through word of mouth, some four hundred citizens gathered and volunteered their time to create a message of diversity and equality. Donning full make-up, Mardi Gras garb, beads, or just plain clothes, the New Orleans’ community and its supporters marched backwards in a symbolic gesture shedding colorful clothing and masks along the way.
Everything stopped, quiet ensued, then a flag appeared stating “We are Never Going Back.” Music filled the streets as participants marched forward in celebration.
New Orleans tourism along with its partner agency, 360i, supported the effort and created an impactful film directed by Trent Jaklitsch.
“New Orleans has a history of welcoming all people all the time,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). “The amount of excitement and numbers of citizens who came to participate in the parade and film is a testament to the city’s determination to never relinquish its achievements in human rights.”
The resulting video of the event will be spread through social channels and pushed out by the millions of people who refuse to turn back. Tourism officials hope the video will make it clear that the diverse and authentic city of New Orleans is ‘always open’.