Parading: Apollo, A Bayou Parade

Kurt's Sister (right) and friend in the Lockport parade

Kurt’s Sister (right) and friend in the Lockport parade

“If you go to New Orleans, you ought to go see the Mardi Gras.”

Professor Longhair is right – of course he is, he’s always right – if you ever visit New Orleans you should go see the Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras season starts on twelfth night and ends Mardi Gras day. There are plenty of Mardi Gras parades, but only on that Tuesday is it truly Mardi Gras. Our favorite New Orleans parade is Muses. We also call it carnival, because on Ash Wednesday, Catholics say goodbye to meat. Good ones, anyway.

A parade in New Orleans along the parade route is truly a marvel to behold. If you catch the parade near the beginning, you will see it is good wholesome family entertainment, which is not happening in the French Quarter (not a bad thing). However, not all parades occur in New Orleans and its suburbs. When you venture out further into bayou country, you will see run across a different set of rules and traditions.   Areas such as Houma, Thibodaux, and Golden Meadow put on great family friendly parades. Gheens has a special parade with some traditions that I have already said too much about.

My favorite parade is my hometown parade, the Krewe of Apollo. I grew up in the small town of Lockport. Our two most famous people to come from Lockport is former LSU great Tommy Hodson (ok, he was from Mathews but he went to school in Lockport) and artist Hank Holland. If you ever find yourself in Lockport, go to his gallery. I actually have not been when it is open, but I look through the windows each time I go to the restaurant next door and marvel at his talent. Thanks to my parents, we have a piece hanging in our house, and I enjoy my morning and afternoon coffee from mugs with his pieces on it. But I digress…

Lockport is so small it does not have a traffic light. It does have a rich football history for when it had its own high school it won at least one state championship (my dad will correct me if it’s more). Every year on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, it hosts its annual parade, the Krewe of Apollo. There are only two bands in the parade: Lockport Middle School and Central Lafourche High School. Central Lafourche has an award-winning band that could win first place in the many other parades that are held that day, but they always show up for this small hometown parade. They always make everyone smile when they play.

This parade is definitely not a Blane Kerns affair. The floats are put together by Krewe members and decorated by Krewe members. No, they are not as beautiful as the professionally done floats that roll in the other parades. That’s what makes this parade unique. They can only be seen in Lockport. The Krewe memebers work hard on the floats by dedicating what spare time they have to decorating the float. My sister is in the parade, and I know she puts plenty of effort into her float as do all members put into theirs.

Recently, the parade decided to go with a theme. This year it was cartoons. Again, I’m in awe at how well these floats are decorated considering that people are doing this in the small amount of free time they have.

Krewe of Apollo

Krewe of Apollo

Queen's Float: Krewe Of Apollo

Queen’s Float: Krewe Of Apollo

Krewe of Apollo

Krewe of Apollo

IMG_2711

Krewe of Apollo: The Jetsons with a great Mr. Spacely!

IMG_2714

Krewe of Apollo: Spongebob

IMG_2719

Krewe of Apollo: A Gentleman’s Walking Group

IMG_2730

Krewe of Apollo: Peter Pan…this float won 1st place and deservedly so.  Wish we would have been able to take more pictures of this great float.

Krewe of Apollo: Finding Nemo

Krewe of Apollo: Finding Nemo

Krewe of Apollo: Alice in Wonderland

Krewe of Apollo: Alice in Wonderland

Krewe of Apollo: Three Little Pigs complete with three different houses!

Krewe of Apollo: Three Little Pigs complete with three different houses!

Krewe of Apollo: House of Straw, House of Twigs, House of Bricks

Krewe of Apollo: House of Straw, House of Twigs, House of Bricks

Krewe of Apollo: Shrek

Krewe of Apollo: Shrek

Krewe of Apollo: Garfield

Krewe of Apollo: Garfield

Krewe of Apollo: Beauty and the Beast

Krewe of Apollo: Beauty and the Beast

IMG_0985

Krewe of Apollo: The Lockport Parade has “Mardi Gras” who walk in the parade and give away beads and other trinkets. They help make it a great parade!

Krewe of Apollo: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Krewe of Apollo: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Krewe of Apollo: Looney Toons

Krewe of Apollo: Looney Toons

Krewe of Apollo: Woody Woodpecker!

Krewe of Apollo: Woody Woodpecker!

Krewe of Apollo: Woody Woodpecker

Krewe of Apollo: Woody Woodpecker

Krewe of Apollo: Toy Story

Krewe of Apollo: Toy Story

Krewe of Apollo: Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang

Krewe of Apollo: Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang

Krewe of Apollo:  Mickey Mouse!

Krewe of Apollo: Mickey Mouse!

IMG_1003

Krewe of Apollo: The Mickey Mouse float also took advantage of the fact it was Valentine’s Day!

Krewe of Apollo:  Mickey Mouse!

Krewe of Apollo: The Lion King

Krewe of Apollo: The Lion King with Kurt's Dad in the Front

Krewe of Apollo: The Lion King with Kurt’s Dad in the Front

Krewe of Apollo

Krewe of Apollo

Krewe of Apollo:  Kurt's sister, Natalie, giving beads to relatives

Krewe of Apollo: Kurt’s sister, Natalie, giving beads to relatives

Krewe of Apollo:  G.I. Joe

Krewe of Apollo: G.I. Joe

Krewe of Apollo: G. I. Joe

Krewe of Apollo: G. I. Joe

Because the town is so small, you can easily catch the parade more than once. It passes a block away from parents house in two different places. Between catching it the first and second time, Cristina and I walked part of the parade route looking for a friend. We didn’t find the friend, but we did catch people having fun. Families in RVs in the Church parking lot barbequing , children jumping up and down in back of trucks with their parents because they are so excited, and families gathered in a member’s front yard with a pig on a spit. Roasted meats and boiled seafood fill the air.

Too often people associate Mardi Gras with the debauchery they see from the French Quarter. That’s only a part of it. I associate Mardi Gras with the Lockport Parade, which means I associate it with family. I know Cristina and I enjoyed spending it with ours.

9 thoughts on “Parading: Apollo, A Bayou Parade

  1. Kurt, your cousin Victor, was on that Peter Pan float that won 1st place. On the driver’s side, he was the very last rider – Peter Pan. We all had a very good time with him wearing green tights under his short dress. hee hee. Please let me know via pm if you see this.
    Aunt Mary Lynn

    Like

  2. I Ride in the Lockport parade like you said it all about the good time and lots of family getting together and just to see the kids faces light up when you hand them trinkets they love toys I love when I get in front of my family house and they just waiting for that special bead makes it worth all the hard work to get everything together !!!

    Like

  3. As you know, we live in New Orleans. For most of us it isn’t about the stuff going on in the Quarter. It’s pretty much like a Christmas holiday. We visit with friends and family. We catch up with people who we’ve missed over the year. We walk to Uptown parades. Obviously, I work a lot. But, that’s just a small part of it. So, I’m with you. Mardi Gras isn’t just about the craziness…

    Like

    • Exactly. I love Mardi Gras in the city. It so much more than flashing for beads and the other .005% media outside of New Orleans harps on. Last year we walked in Zulu with the nyxettes, and you are right it was like Christmas. It was the most fun I ever had watching everyone enjoy it. And the food, it was torture even though everyone offered it to us just smelling all that food.

      Like

  4. Loved this post. Have been to NOLA only once during the festivities, but think we’d enjoy the small town parades even better. The photos are amazing and it’s very evident how much heart and soul that went into making them. Thank you so much for reposting the experience.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Parading: The Krewe of Apollo | Nola Nerd Couple

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s