Harry Connick Jr. is going home for Mardi Gras. The New Orleans native and co-founder of the Krewe of Orpheus is returning home to celebrate Carnival with his family, friends and krewe mates.
Connick has been busy promoting "New in Town," the romantic comedy starring Connick and Renee Zellweger, and his spokeswoman originally said he would not be able to attend Mardi Gras festivities this year.
But on Wednesday, Orpheus officials were thrilled to learn Connick's plans had changed.
"We are so excited Harry will be joining us this year," Captain Sonny Borey said in a statement. "His schedule has been so intense, and I know it was difficult for him to clear. It was a great surprise."
Connick will ride in the Orpheus parade, which rolls through the city Monday night, and he will attend the glitzy ball that will follow, said krewe spokesman Ardley Hanemann.
Also slated to participate in the Orpheus festivities are the star of ABC's "According to Jim," Jim Belushi, Bryan Batt from AMC's award-winning "Mad Men," comedienne Joan Rivers, country crooner Josh Gracin and the cast of Comedy Central's "Reno 911."
Gracin will perform at the ball, along with Belushi, who will be accompanied on stage by his Sacred Hearts Band.
Connick helped launch the Orpheus organization in 1993.
Past celebrity monarchs have included Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bullock, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Steven Seagal, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburn, Dan Ackroyd, James Brown, Delta Burke and Josh Hartnett.
Last year, race car driver Helio Castroneves served as a celebrity rider, along with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and hip-hop duo Salt-n-Pepa.
On the Net:
Krewe of Orpheus, http://www.kreweoforpheus.net
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