Rex arrives outside of the Morris-Downman mansion on Tuesday. Supporters add levity to the situation with a sign “We Are Ready for Ash Wednesday.” (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)
The Rex parade stopped at the Morris-Downman House at 2525 St. Charles Ave. during the parade on Mardi Gras, as it has since 1907. This time the toast was more poignant. The mansion, historically significant to the Rex organization and to New Orleans Mardi Gras, was devastated by a seven-alarm fire in February. It has been home to many Rex members, including Billy Grace, a former king of Carnival, who shared a toast with Rex.
Billy Grace, with a firefighter’s coat over his tuxedo, and Rex share a toast on Tuesday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)
Rex stops the procession to honor the charred home. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)
Billy Grace, a former Rex, is given a fire jacket and hat before a toast with Rex. Grace and his wife, Anne Montgomery Grace, rescued Anne’s mother from the mansion after it caught fire in February. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)
New Orleans fire chief Tim McConnell awaits Rex in the stands placed outside of the Morris-Downman House, which fell victim to a seven-alarm fire in February. The fire damaged a home that was home to multiple kings and queens of Carnival and held artifacts of Mardi Gras history. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)
The Marine Corps marching band plays some traditional brass band numbers during Rex on Tuesday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)