This Carnival season has considerable tragedy in New Orleanians with two fatalities involving tandem floats during the Nyx and Endymion parades, two riders injured after falling from floats in Thoth and two people requiring medical attention after falling from a balcony on St. Charles Avenue. In true New Orleans spirit however, through the sadness, there have been glimmers of joy.

First, as Cleopatra rolled Feb. 14, Queen Cleopatra XLVII Amanda Roudolfich received a Valentine’s Day surprise. As she was stopped on the route, her boyfriend took a ladder to the side of the float, hopped on up and proposed.

Last week, Nyx rider Rachael Kostelec was proposed to by boyfriend Jeremy St. John while riding on the top deck of Float No. 7. Kostelec is a Nyx board member and was expecting to see her boyfriend waiting for her in the crowd but was instead met with chants of her name and her boyfriend holding a sign that asked her if she would marry him. From the top of the float, Rachel said, “Yes!”

Though a couple of riders in the Krewe of Thoth parade had a “fall” – and not the love kind – rider Matt Dawson planned an entirely different day. Getting his floatmates and the driver on board, at the intersection of St. Charles and Washington avenues, Dawson hopped off his float to greet girlfriend Sarah Bailey. While handing her some beads, Dawson surprised Bailey by dropping down on one knee and proposing in the middle of the crowd. Bailey said, “Yes!” and the entire crowed cheered.

We wish these couples – and any others that used Carnival as a proposal backdrop – a lifetime of happiness.


Happy Mardi Gras, New Orleans!