KING CAKE SEASON IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!
WE WILL OPEN OUR DOORS AGAIN DECEMBER FOR OUR CHRISTMAS KING CAKES
Mardi Gras has become an inclusive and widely-varying celebration throughout New Orleans and beyond, but most of the sights, sounds, images, and more can be traced back to the traditions of what was known as the Rex Organization. Founded in the 19th century, the colors of the Rex Organization were (and still are) green, purple, and gold, which has become synonymous with Carnival. The song "If I Ever Cease to Love" was originally played for the Rex organization during their very first parade, and it has become the Krewe of Rex's most enduring anthem. One of the krewe's more recent contributions to Mardi Gras has been the implementation of doubloon-related throws and other struck coins. The gold doubloon of the Rex Organization continues to be one of the most sought-after throws during Carnival to this day.
Generally referred to as simply "Rex," which is short for "The Rex Organization," the krewe's official name is "The School of Design." Their motto, which frequently appears on official documents, is "Pro Bono Publico," or in English, "For the Common Good." The title of King, otherwise known as the "Monarch of Merriment," is not to be confused with any other organization leadership; the image of Rex is on the famous gold doubloon every year. To note, it is important not to use the term "King Rex," as this would be redundant since "Rex" is Latin for "King."
Since 1872, the Rex Organization and its monarch have issued proclamations declaring the dates of the Carnival celebrations and commanding merry subjects to gather around to join in the festivities. When Rex began his reign over Mardi Gras, New Orleans during the 19th century was struggling through years of post-civil war reconstruction. Since civic leaders desired to attract more visitors and vacationers to the city, proclamations of Rex were posted around train depots and stagecoach locations throughout the country, hoping to make Mardi Gras and New Orleans in general become a major tourist destination. The tradition of issuing proclamations continues to this day, with every year's proclamation being created by well-known artists. As a result, proclamations have become much-desired pieces of art.
As the festivities commence, Rex arrives in his "capital city" by boat. Paintings and pictures from the early years depict elegant vessels, steam and sail alike, docking on the Mississippi River for the welcoming ceremonies. In more recent times, Rex has arrived a day before Mardi Gras in New Orleans as part of the Lundi Gras celebration. Ever-popular amongst the crowds, the krewe's Boeuf Gras leads off the parade and symbolizes the last meat eaten before Lenten fasting begins.