The Krewe of Des Allemands could not have selected a more apt name to lead their parade this year. March Dufrene will serve as Grand Marshall when the parade rolls on Sunday, Feb. 10.
The 88-year-old said she was taken aback at hearing she had been selected to lead the parade.
"It came as a surprise and really I think the selection came through my children. I think because of my age they didnít let me have the decision so they went through the children and I found out and then I agreed to do it," Dufrene said. "The kids were so excited so I said yes. They really got excited about it."
Dufrene, whose maiden name is Shubert, is a widower who was married to Dan Dufrene for 56 years and whose three children, Curtis and Dwight Dufrene and Juanita Hebert, are all local residents and involved in the planning of the Krewe of Des Allemands.
Formerly the postmaster at the Boutte post office, Dufrene retired in 1986 and has since been enjoying her retirement.
"When I was married my husband and I fished and we went out partying and the things people do, but then after I lost him my close friends took over with me and they take me on vacation," Dufrene said. "I go out to eat a lot, I read, I do a lot of things, but my favorite things are vacations and eating out."
Dufene has been attending Mardi Gras parades for most of her life and has always enjoyed this time of the year.
"My youngest son is 60 years old and he would come to the parades. I think 70 years ago I was just about 20 years old when me and my husband started going to Mardi Gras," she said. "Weíve had all sorts of experiences and I saw the sites in the French Quarter and all of that stuff."
As always, Dufrene will be surrounded by family on parade day. Her grandson will be driving the convertible she will be riding in and two of her 17 great-grandchildren will be on either side of her helping out with throws.
Dufrene said her special throws will be a medallion with her name on it and cups commemorating the 2013 parade. In addition, she has picked out an outfit just for the special day.
"My grandsonís convertible has a drape that you throw over the back of the trunk in Mardi Gras colors – purple, green and gold," she said. "So I decided to buy a purple outfit to blend in with the Mardi Gras colors and I hope I look pretty."
Given her strong ties to Des Allemands, Dufrene said she is happy to representing the community for such an important event and keeping the local Mardi Gras tradition going.
"I will be living in Des Allemands for 89 years next month and I am still going strong and hoping for a few more good years," Dufrene said.