Sisters Beatrice Barbier and Sandra Yokum say they’re ready to ride.
The Des Allemands natives and residents are this year’s Krewe of Des Allemands grand marshals and will be on their float together when the parade kicks off this Sunday (Feb. 26) at 1 p.m.
“All of our families will be together. That’s the best part,” Barbier said. “Our grandkids are riding with us in our float. I’ve never been in the parade, but we’ve gotten together with everyone for it for years. My nephew is throwing a great, big party for it with jambalaya, pastalaya, gumbo … I’m looking forward to it.”
Also of note: the parade rolls on Barbier’s 78th birthday. “It’ll be the biggest birthday party I’ll ever have,” she quipped.
Yokum said the two will be riding together on the same float because they’re sisters and that there will be plenty of throws for all to enjoy.
“We’ve got tons of beads, stuffed animals, footballs, cups with our names on them and the medallions to match,” she said. “We’re going with purple and white for our birthstones.
“I’m not really nervous. It’s a small, family-oriented parade. I guess the day of, though, I’ll probably get a little more excited.”
The sisters not only ride together, but they share a common bond as fighters. Both are cancer survivors, Barbier defeating the illness in 2005 and Yokum doing so in 2010.
They’re looking forward to sharing in the spotlight along with King and Queen Roy and Betty Hogan, who are family, as well as their sister, Deannie Mahan, who is riding as Catfish Queen.
“They picked the right family,” Barbier smiled. “We have such a big family, when we have our Christmas party, we have to rent a hall. We have 200 strong there. It’s more fun with family.”