Residents thrilled to have Mardi Gras parades back in St. Charles

The music blasted through the air, the dancing was contagious, the colorful throws and costumes unmistakable.

The Carnival was back in Luling.

The strong attendance at Saturday’s Krewe of Lul Parade – and a day later as the Krewe of Des Allemands rolled through its namesake – showed residents were more than ready for the good times to roll once more, two years after the last time.

“We’re enjoying ourselves. It’s a beautiful day, there are beautiful women, some wonderful floats and it’s just a great day to come out here and enjoy ourselves,” said James Smith of Luling. “It’s sure nice that it’s back, and everyone’s out here enjoying it.”

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the shutdown of last year’s parades in St. Charles Parish, as a rising number of cases led decision makers to discretion. And the Krewes were missed.

“Of course, we understood the situation, under the circumstances,” said Dina Zeevi of Luling. “It really just adds to it this year. It’s like double joy, to have it back and be a part of it all as a spectator. You celebrate the workmanship that goes into making these floats and how they look, the joy of catching the throws. It’s all great.”

There was one common refrain from the paradegoers as to why the event is so popular.

“This is a family celebration,” Zeevi said. “It’s always been that way, a family-friendly event, and it’s always a good time. It’s a great crowd, a great experience, and I’m so happy to have that energy back.”

Said Salvador Calcagno of Des Allemands, “Everybody knows each other. Everyone behaves themselves and we all have a good time. We’ve really missed this over the past two years, because of the pandemic, but we’re able to come back together now. I’ve been really looking forward to it.”

Calcagno has been attending the parade since moving to the area in 2005, and said he loves seeing what different kinds of floats and themes will be featured each year.

Others have different tastes.

“There aren’t many motorcycles this year, but that’s usually my favorite,” Smith said. “I love the trucks, the stuff like that.”

There were plenty of the latter at Lul, and much more. Royalty, floats, festival queens, dance teams, EMS, police and fire departments, parish officials, the Hahnville High ROTC, band, Hi-Steppers and cheerleaders and other marching groups were among those featured at Lul.

Some of the float themes included Ghostbusters, complete with Slimer adorning the front and Mr. Stay Puft manning the side, the Zoo Krewe (Audubon goes Hollywood), a Joe Burrow – or “Burreaux” for the home flavor – tribute, Superheroes with Supergirl, Wonder Woman and the Incredibles among the featured, Safari Krewe, Luling Luau, the New Orleans Saints and St. Charles Parish Strong.

 

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