Joyeux Anniversaire, Jeanne d’Arc! (including January 6 parade details)

Announcing our 2015 Court
Patrick Van Hoorebeek, Emma Martello & Simone Bruni Crouere
The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc selects three nonmember community leaders each year to portray three featured characters in our parade: a young Maid Joan, a King Charles VII, and a Queen Yolande.

Following in the footsteps of Orleans, France, where they select a young woman to lead their annual parade May 8 in honor of both V-Day and Joan’s lifting of the siege of Orleans, we hold a contest to select one young woman age 16-19 (the ages of Joan’s most notable feats) who best represents what Joan embodied: loyalty and love of place, dedication to community, and courage, and is studying French. Our 2015 Maid is Emma Martello of the McGehee School. The eldest of eight siblings, Emma is a student ambassador, peer support leader and active in charity work, such as the Crafts for a Cause club she founded herself.

Our 2015 Queen is Simone Bruni Crouere, founder and owner of Demo Diva Demolition Company. Women selected to portray Queen Yolande, who funded Joan’s army that ultimately made the King’s crowning a reality, are women who have demonstrated significant support for young women in the community, have business savvy and most importantly, like Queen Yolande, work strategically “behind the scenes” to uplift and improve the lives of New Orleanians. With Demo Diva, Simone blazed a trail for herself in a male dominated industry, and Demo Diva’s signature pink became a symbol of post-Katrina resilience. Joan of Arc was an inspiration for Simone as she expanded Demo Diva.

Our 2015 King is Patrick Van Hoorebeek, owner and founder of Patrick’s Bar Vin in the French Quarter. New Orleans’ ties to France are still strong and each year we select a male community leader who embodies New Orleans’ French heritage to portray our King Charles VII, who is crowned by our Maid Joan in a ceremony at the end of the parade, followed by eating king cake to kick off the Carnival season. Patrick embodies New Orleans hospitality and French culture. Growing up with stories of Joan told by his French mother, Patrick said “It’s an honor to have been selected to play the role of Charles VII since the history of Joan of Arc is something so dear to my heart.” The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc selected Patrick for his generous support of French organizations and events in New Orleans; his ambassadorship to tourists and locals alike at his French Quarter bar; and his ability to make everyone who walks into his establishment feel like royalty.

Parade Tuesday Jan. 6, 6 p.m.
Joyeux Anniversaire, Jeanne d’Arc!
Celebrating St. Joan of Arc’s birthday and Twelfth Night, this annual walking parade is a medieval-themed theatrical procession, inspired by Joan’s time in 1400s France. Joan of Arc liberated the citizens of Orleans, France, from a British siege in her first victory in 1429—resulting in her moniker “The Maid of Orleans”. Our parade honors our own unofficial patron saint, The Maid of New Orleans: the beloved golden French Quarter statue, a gift to the City of New Orleans from France in the 1950s, and our French history and heritage.
Dress in gold. Bring king cake to share. The parade typically starts on time at 6 sharp and makes 3 pauses for a bit of medieval pageantry: toasts from the Historic New Orleans Collection and Grégor Trumel, Consul General of France in New Orleans, from the Williams Research Center balcony at 400 Chartres; a sword blessing at Saint Louis Cathedral by The Very Reverend Father Philip Landry, and the crowning of the king and king cake ceremony at the end. It’s a short, family-friendly parade — quirky, whimsical and spiritual. Follow us through the French Quarter with one of Joan’s birthday candles, handed out to parade goers in honor of Joan’s 603rd birthday.

About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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