Every year, the Krewe of Apollo, or the Lockport Parade, rolls at noon the Saturday of Mardi Gras. It is a perfect antidote to the huge city parades. You can walk the route before the parade and smell cookouts, barbecues, and seafood boils. Gumbo and jambalaya seem to be at every other house. Some people go all out and have boucherie’s, while others just pick up food from Rouse’s, Frank’s, Popeye’s and Sunrise. If you do walk the parade route with someone from Lockport, you will have to stop 100 times over so that person can talk with everyone and their momma. People come home from out of town and out of state just for this parade. People from Lockport who don’t particularly care for parades go to the Krewe of Apollo. This is an unscientific accumulation of data, but it seems like all of my friends from Lockport who went to Disney World this week, left directly after catching the parade.
The parade features floats designed by the riders themselves. Whereas most parades rent floats from professional designers, the Krewe of Apollo works year round to decorate their float. While they do have sponsorship, many krewe members donate their money and time.
(Click any picture to see a larger version!)
Where my parents live, we can catch the parade twice. The first time is near the beginning and the second time is near the church. For us, this means we catch the parade on both sides getting to see different people we know.
What makes the Lockport parade so special? It is a reunion. It’s hundreds of family reunions. It is hundreds of Central Lafourche and Lockport High School reunions. It allows us, for one day, to catch up with old friends and family members in a joyous occasion. No matter how far we go, the Lockport Parade always reminds us where home is.
Yes, there are plenty of parades in the New Orleans area. If you are one of our readers from outside of New Orleans you are probably familiar with these parades. However, Mardi Gras extends throughout Cajun country (and into the coastal parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida). Mr. Nola Nerd Couple hails from the small town of Lockport, Louisiana. Every year, on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Lockport rolls throughout the town. It’s a special parade because literally it one giant family party. Here is our posts on the last two years of this parade.
For Mardi Gras week, we skipped most parades except for my hometown parade. We took it easy and just relaxed at home. This meant I cooked almost exclusively on the Big Green Egg. For all my cooks I used Big Green Egg Lump charcoal. Here is a run down:
The Krewe of Apollo parade rolls the Saturday before Mardi Gras in the small town of Lockport. Kurt grew up in Lockport and looks forward to the parade every year. His sister rides in the parade and his mom has people over to eat and enjoy the parade. It seems as everyone in town has people over. In fact, if you walk the parade route in this town where everyone knows each other, you will be hard-pressed not to find people offering you food and drink.
To get ready for this year’s parade, we asked Kurt’s sister Natalie Hargis and a friend of his, Glenn Sapia, to answer some questions about Apollo. They both responded quickly and we learned a lot about the parade, including stuff Kurt didn’t even know. While this is not a definitive history, we are hoping that more people read this blog and each year we can repost it with new information and pictures. So leave a comment or send us an email if you have some history of the parade that you would like to share!
Natalie getting ready to head to the parade! Photo credit: Stacy Babin
The parade started in 1963, but according to Glenn, the first two years the parade didn’t have king but instead had Mr. XJ Chauvin who served as Grand Marshall. The parade today has about 150 riders and the ride lasts about three hours (you can find the route here). The parade recently expanded and now has about 21 floats. Lockport Middle School and Central Lafourche High School march in the parade. Central Lafourche is one of the best marching bands in the state and could have their pick of parades to march in that Saturday, including Endymyion, but they always put civic duty and pride first by marching in the Lockport parade.
Family Gras: A free event held on the neutral ground on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie across from the Lakeside Mall. Dr. John, The Monkees (on their 50th Anniversary Tour!), Andy Grammar, and Amanda Shaw will be performing at the festival. There will also be an arts market and, of course, festival food. The festival will be from Jan 29 to Jan 31.
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus: Every nerd’s favorite parade starts at 7pm on January 30th. We spent quite a bit of time this past year discussing should we go to the parade or be in the parade before deciding to be a spectator this year. Now, what to dress up as….
King Cake Festival On, January 31, 2016, Champions Square hosts the 3rd annual King Cake Festival. Samples are $1 and proceeds go to children at Ochsner.
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.
Now that grad school is over, Kurt and I started to slowly have a life again, which means now that it is Mardi Gras season, we can go out and enjoy the greatest free show on Earth, the parades in New Orleans. Other cities have their own parades and unique traditions, but in my opinion, nothing holds a candle to the beauty of a New Orleans parade. One parade that is tops for fun, beauty, and uniqueness is Muses. Muses is always the Thursday night before Mardi Gras, which means we usually have work on Friday morning; however, this year, by some beautiful luck of fate, we are off on Friday. Thus, it was the perfect night to finally enjoy the over 1000 all female Krewe of Muses, who just happen to have a shoe fetish.