A River Parish Mardi Gras

When the streets are filled with purple, green and yellow banners and beads; when the smell of a neighbor’s crawfish boil brings people together; when hordes of people in costume walk down crowded streets — you know that means Mardi Gras is upon us, and it is a truly magical time of year unlike anywhere else. When the country around us may be business as usual, in New Orleans we’re on vacation for festival season.

The first thing that comes to mind when someone says Mardi Gras is generally an image of floats rolling through the French Quarter, but the River Parishes know how to party too. In the River Parishes, the Mardi Gras tradition is all about community, giving back and throwing a good party. Here are just a few of the krewes that brought the celebration to St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James Parishes.

St. Charles Parish & Krewe of Lul

The Krewe of Lul celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. As the humble origin story goes, “In the late seventies, several young men, sitting at a Luling bar named Papa John’s, were drinking when one man, the infamous father of Lul, Vernon Higgins, decided that Luling needed its own parade,” recounted Krewe of Lul Captain, Debra Dufresne-Vial. That same  year, 1978,  they marched through the heart of Old Luling with three home made floats. Now, 40 years later, twenty plus floats roll down that very same route throwing beads and the King & Queen toss customized scrolls to eager crowds. Some of the very same families who had floats in that first parade still participate today.

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The Krewe of Lul court selected for the annual Carnival ball has continually grown over passing years. What was originally comprised of only a king and queen, the court added a grand marshal in 1997, and this year selected its very first parade chaplain, Father Bernard Francis. Father Francis is a retired priest of over 40 years from Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Hahnville. The King and Queen this year, George and Lonnine Adamietz, have never missed a Krewe of Lul parade, and a former float rider, Dorothy St. Amant Dufresne served as the 2017 Grand Marshal.
This year, the Krewe of Lul held its first Carnival ball since Hurricane Katrina. The ball was held on January 28th in the Edward Dufresne Community Center. More than 400 former Krewe of Lul royalty and parade supporters attended.

TOP LEFT: Dumonde King Sean Rousse toasts the crowd at the annual parade held in LaPlace. TOP RIGHT Krewe of Lul Grand Marshal Dorothy St. Amant Dufresne. BOTTOM LEFT: Krewe of Lul Parade Chaplain Bernard Francis. BOTTOM RIGHT: Krewe of Lul King George and Queen Lonnie Adamietz royal toast on parade day.

St. John the Baptist Parish & Krewe Du Monde

Krewe Du Monde  geared up for two of this year’s premier events in St. John the Baptist Parish: The Krewe Du Monde ball and the Krewe Du Monde parade.

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The Krewe was founded in 1974 and since has developed an organizational spirit unlike any other. Presented by the Lions Club of LaPlace, “the krewe raises money every year through tickets and fees to donate and pay for a myriad of charitable sponsorships around the state,” said Lion’s Club president, Dr. Daniel Kurica. Some of these sponsorships include Lions Club organizations, such as the Louisiana Lions Camp for children with special needs and the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation which provides eye examinations and eyeglasses to needy citizens of the parish.

The Krewe Du Monde ball took place this year on February 24th in the St. John Community Center with the theme “Du Monde Explores the Continents.” Each duke and maid represented a different continent while the king and queen represented North America. The King and Queen reigning this year were Sean Roussel and Alexis Shirer.

St. James Parish & Krewe of M.A.C.

The Krewe of M.A.C. is in its first Mardi Gras season after forming in November of 2016. M.A.C. is short for Making A Change, the concise mission the krewe was formed around. The 15 community members that make up the krewe “met over social media to discuss how saddened [they] were by the lack of Mardi Gras celebration in the Lutcher-Gramercy area, so [they] decided to form a Krewe together,” said one of the founding members, Councilman Ken Brass.  The Krewe of M.A.C. hopes to bring back the Mardi Gras spirit to St. James Parish and in doing so promote good fellowship, contribute to civic good, uplift the community and make a difference in the lives of local youth.

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The 1st Annual Krewe Of M.A.C. Masquerade Ball was held a few weeks ago at the St. Michael Community Center in Convent.  The ball, open to the public, donates its proceeds to local charities and youth centered programs.   In addition, the Krewe of M.A.C. Mardi Gras Day Parade rolled in the Lutcher/Gramercy area on Mardi Gras Day.

The King and Queen, Dustin Mitchell and Angelle Scott, were both Lutcher natives who were chosen for their community spirit as role models in the community. The court continued this theme with a community spirit oriented Ambassador, Prince and Princess. Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, a 14 year old battling a chronic liver disease, served this year as Grand Marshall.

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Local Marching groups, dance schools, and families participate in the Krewe of Lul 40th Parade through the street of Luling.


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