POSTED: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 6:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 1:03pm
PARK CITY, UT — Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program hosted its official “Mardi Gras at Sundance” launch parade and party complete with hundreds of revelers and police escorts.
The Parade was led by the legendary Jazz musician Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human, King of the Parade “Conquistador” Alexander Antebi, Queen of the Parade Shanna Forrestall (Actress) with Park City Mayor Dana Williams, Chesley Heymsfield (Executive Director, LIFF), Jeff "The Dude" Dowd (Producer), and Dan Ireland (Director).
Revelers danced, pranced and swirled up Main Street with kazoos, harmonicas, parasols, Mardi Gras masks and colored handkerchiefs, while Sundance Film Festival attendees and Park City locals alike stopped traffic and leaned out of cars to grab pictures, video and cheer on the revelers. Even a local UPS driver swung out of his van to record the scene.
"As a Louisiana native, I’m thrilled to be on the LIFF team representing the State at Sundance,“ said Forrestall. “I was honored to be the Queen of the Mardi Gras at Sundance parade, and to be at the epicenter of this great event celebrating film with a fusion of music, creative energy and Louisiana culture."
King of the Parade, “Conquistador” Alexander Antebi remarked, "We defrosted Main St. with Louisiana hot saucy-ness.”
“The whole city came together to make this happen and we are so excited about the warm reception by locals and festival-goers alike. We will take this same vibe and bring it to our inaugural Festival in Louisiana in April along with world-class programming and mentorship,” said Chesley Heymsfield Executive Director of LIFF.
Baton Rouge Film Commission’s Liza Kelso remarked, “It is one thing to experience The Sundance Film Festival for the first time, it is another to be a part of something this memorable! The music of Jon Batiste and Stay Human, the incredible food from our hometown chefs at IPO helped make the launch of the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program the hottest ticket in town.”
Upon reaching Cicero's Ristorante & Good Times Bar, the paraders enjoyed a full band set by Jon Batiste & Stay Human and world-class Louisiana cuisine provided by Executive Chef Chris Wadsworth from Restaurant IPO  along with Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze Radio , Chappapeela Farms, Inland Seafood New Orleans and Community Coffee. Some of the guests that participated in the festivities were Isaiah Washington (Sundance 2013 film BLUE CAPRICE, ABC's Grey’s Anatomy) and Jordan Engle (ABC's Body of Proof).