Roland and Nancy Dowouis will reign as royalty this year when the Krewe of Des Allemands rolls through St. Charles Parish Sunday.
It’s the perfect year for the duo to take streets as king and queen – they will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary on Mardi Gras Day.
The couple, who resides in Des Allemands, got married when Roland was 21 and Nancy was 18.
“We were both born and raised here in Des Allemands,” Nancy said. “We live on the same street that we were raised on … we never moved. He was my next-door neighbor growing up, so we knew each other growing up.”
Nancy said it was not love at first sight.
“He was good friends with my brothers, but I just didn’t pay attention to him … but I guess one thing led to another,” she said laughing.
The couple raised three children in Des Allemands and they are now the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.
Roland and Nancy, who are parishioners at St. Gertrude, said they are no strangers to the Krewe of Des Allemands parade.
“We have been riding in the parade for 15 years or more now,” Nancy said.
When a group of ladies from the parade committee recently made a surprise visit to the Duwouis’ home, Nancy said she figured they were coming to ask them to reign as king and queen.
“I left the decision up to my husband, because I knew it was a lot of time and work,” she said. “But we love the parade so much that he said yes. He’s still surprised to this day that we were asked.”
Nancy said both she and Roland are anxiously awaiting parade day.
“We can’t wait … we really can’t wait,” she said. “Right now we’re decorating the float. We can’t wait to ride differently this time. We need the parade back again … we need our parade. The people of Des Allemands …. they enjoy it. They get to have good family time. A lot of people barbeque and it’s just so nice to ride and see the families together. Family means everything and that’s what Mardi Gras brings out.”