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New Roads tradition is Mardi Gras' best-kept secret

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NEW ROADS - It's not a special recipe, or False River real estate, the best-kept secret in New Roads is the identities of the king and queen of Mardi Gras.

"As far as royalty is concerned, the kings and queens of New Roads Mardi Gras are masked on their floats and do not unveil until they reach the reviewing stands of their respective clubs," New Roads historian Brian Costello said. 

As opposed to most traditional Mardi Gras parades, where the royalty is unveiled at a ball, New Roads kings and queens have to keep their positions a secret for months. 

"Only a few people are supposed to know, so you go through four, five, six months with not everybody knowing," Scott Smith said. 

"It was pretty hard. It's a really big honor. It's exciting and I was really excited about it, but I know it's a really big secret for New Roads, and I wanted to keep the tradition going. So I just kept it to myself for a very long time," Katelyn Bellelo said. 

The Lions' Club Parade, in its 77th year rolling, traditionally chooses someone from the organization to be king, and a recent college grad who is involved in the community as queen. This year its Scott Smith and Katelyn Bollelo, but the town won't know that until the parade begins. 

"It will be fun to unmask and let everybody know who it is," Smith said. 

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