If you are reading this from outside of New Orleans and Louisiana, this blog is about Mardi Gras. Yet, it has nothing to do with New Orleans. Sure New Orleans and Metairie are great places to catch a parade. But so are Houma, Luling, LaRose, Golden Meadow, and Thibodaux. In fact, my two of my favorite parades growing up were the Lockport and Gheens parade.
The Lockport parade rolls the Saturday before Mardi Gras. To the New Orleans Mardi Gras trained eye, this is not an impressive parade. Which means I think it’s beautiful. Instead of renting the floats, the Krewe of Apollo makes and decorates their own floats. The time and dedication (and not to mention money) that goes into designing the float can only be done by people who have a passion for it. Lockport, my hometown, is a very small town. It doesn’t have traffic lights. Everyone knows everyone. If you walk the parade route before or after it runs, you will be invited to try some gumbo, eat some king cake, and drink a beer. Speaking of that beer, be careful when the parade rolls around because someone you know will pelt you with beads often times causing you to lose said beer. You will have a great time.
As far as the Gheens parade, it used to be the first stop on our Mardi Gras day. We would quickly get in our car after and go to another parade. Not because we were in hurry to go to the next parade. Because….because….because. Well, if you do go, find a local and ask them what happens after the parade.
And find out the password. You need to know the password.