By definition in Louisiana, a parade grand marshal is Mardi Gras royalty. Calling it an “unbelievable experience,” Martha Bergeron Champagne will preside, along with her sister, Betty Bergeron Champagne, as grand marshals for the Krewe of Lul that will roll at noon Saturday (Feb. 6). “I’m just overwhelmed. It’s a great honor. I’ve lived here all my life and I can’t believe it’s happening.”
Despite being a veteran when it comes to attending the local parade, riding in it is a first for Martha Champagne – and it’s an exciting development for the 85-year-old native and resident of Luling.
“I’m looking forward to it because to hear everybody else’s story, it’s just unreal,” she said. “As the time gets closer, I’m getting more anxious.”
Martha Champagne expressed her appreciation to the parade captains for having done such a wonderful job with this year’s parade, which marks the 39th year for the event.
Although she doesn’t consider herself royalty, she is thrilled over her children’s help “toward this day. It’s also an honor to be riding with my sister.”
The experience is equally exciting for Betty, who said, “I’m still flying. I think it’s a great honor of being picked.”
A Luling native and resident of Ama, Betty is ready for the parade.
“I’ve never been in anything like it,” the 81-year-old said of her children helping her serve as grand marshal. “They all want to help. They are really good at it.”
Betty is surprised that she got picked for the position, but she mused that it her family who got her in by also getting Martha to serve as a grand marshal. Initially, she said all she could think of was her dislocated disc, but then she thought about her mother.
“If I’d said ‘no’ I think she’d have haunted me,” Betty said. “She was a lady and she loved her dancing.”
Betty’s also pleased over serving as a grand marshal with her sister. The two are both widowed and do everything together.
But, overall, she also emphasized the parade is good for the community.
“We need it,” Betty said. “The people come out and I think it’s a good thing.”