Ian Somerhalder heading home to hand out 'Vampire Diaries' beads at Mardi Gras -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

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Image Credit: The CW (2)

New Orleans might be the setting for Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals, but it’s also the real-life hometown of Ian Somerhalder. And this year, it seems the vamp-by-day and activist-by-night is heading home to do a little celebrating.

Somerhalder will serve as co-grand marshal (along with The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus) during Mardi Gras’ main event, the Krewe of Endymion Parade & Extravaganza. On Saturday, March 1, Somerhalder will hit the streets of New Orleans, and we’ve got an exclusive look at the custom Vampire Diaries beads he will hand out to spectators.

“I am so excited to be coming back to my hometown to ride with Endymion,” Somerhalder told EW exclusively. “I am so grateful. It’s truly an honor.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m booking a flight to New Orleans. After all, Somerhalder does have a history of confessing his love when handing over necklaces. Necklaces, beads — what’s the difference?

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