Will Ferrell helped to kick off Carnival celebrations in Louisiana on Sunday (19Feb12) by taking to the streets of New Orleans as this year's (12) celebrity grand marshall.

The actor has been filming new movie The Campaign with Zach Galifianakis in the city since last autumn (11) and on Sunday he showed off his lovefor the area by donning a gold crown and boarding a festive float to serve as King of the Bacchus parade.

Declaring New Orleans "arguably the best city in the world", Ferrell waved to the crowd as hundreds of party goers and fans lined the streets tousher in the Christian holiday of Mardi Gras, which officially begins on Tuesday (21Feb12).

Rocker Bret Michaels, actress Patricia Clarkson, and pop veteran Cyndi Lauper are also currently in town for the festivities, as is New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. and his new Law and Order Special Victims Unit co-star Mariska Hargitay.

Ferrell is the latest star to take on the royal duty - actors Nicolas Cage, James Gandolfini, William Shatner and Elijah Wood have all played Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine, in previous years.