Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa Toss Beads at Mardi Gras Parade

mardi gras

Zach Honig

Tourists visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras this week may have spotted CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and TV host Kelly Ripa on-board a float during Sunday night's Endymion parade – the pair served as grand marshals for the famous parade, which often features celebrities.

Cooper, who tossed beads to eager fans on St. Charles Avenue, announced his participation on Twitter, posting Saturday evening, and again a few hours before the parade reached my location in the city's Garden District Sunday night.

Cooper and Ripa attended the Endymion Ball Saturday evening – one of several Mardi Gras balls held over the weekend in the New Orleans Convention Center, which featured performances by Train and Pat Benatar. Tickets to the event cost $310 per couple.

One of dozens of Mardi Gras parades, Endymion was rescheduled from Saturday evening due to rain, following Bacchus and Chewbacchus – a Star Wars-themed parody parade which featured partiers in their twenties, marching the parade route with low-budget costumes and boxes of wine.

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