It’s all in the family when it comes to Krewe of Des Allemands royalty this year, as cousins Linda Schaubhut Cunningham and Peggy Matherne Frickey are the parade’s 2024 grand marshals.
Cunningham is the sister of this year’s King, Merlin Schaubhut – one reason she was quite surprised to hear she was chosen for the honor.
“They had me go to PJ’s Coffee, and I was there with my daughter and my friend,” said Cunningham. “Then they all came in with the Krewe and asked me. I was surprised because my brother and my sister-in-law were king and queen already, so I didn’t expect to be asked. It should be a lot of fun, with Peggy as well.”
Cunningham and Schaubhut’s parents reigned as king and queen of the parade in 1998.
“So, all of this brings back memories,” Cunningham said. “Mardi Gras was always fun. We’d all get together as a family to go.”
Born and raised in Des Allemands, she said she has spent many years going to the parade – the trip was never far.
“Where I live on Lorraine Drive – they pass right down my street,” she said. “It’s very convenient. But I’ve always gone, even before I lived in this house. Whenever they had a parade, I was there.”
Also born and raised in Des Allemands, Frickey said she’s quite ready to start the festivities. Like Cunningham, Frickey said she was surprised by the invitation to ride as royalty this year, and like her cousin she said she was very honored to be able to do so.
“I’ve been going since it first started, I imagine,” Frickey said. “I’m all ready to go this year. I’m looking forward to seeing all the people and having fun.”
She said by the sounds of it, several family members will be out on the route to see her, which will only make the day all the more fun.
“I’ve got some hula hoops, some little umbrellas and some special beads – lot of throws for everyone,” Frickey said.
While historically she’s loved the Mardi Gras experience, she said she hasn’t been as much of a parade-goer in recent years.
This will be a welcome change of pace.
“It’ll be really different, especially because I haven’t rode before,” Frickey said.