For more than three decades, the Krewe of Lul rolled through Luling without a hitch. Inclement weather put an end to that run for two straight years and organizers, riders and attendees are anxious to put the recent string of bad luck behind them.
"Our motto is, ‘We are rolling no matter what,’" Debbie Dufresne Vial, parade organizer, said. "We feel that if we keep saying it, it will happen."
This year’s parade is scheduled to roll through Luling on Saturday, Feb. 9 at noon and Vial is confident that will happen, even though she refuses to check the weather this year.
"I’m not even going to check. A tornado will have to be hitting with sirens going off for us to cancel," she said with a laugh. "If it is drizzling, we are going."
So far, the weather calls for partly cloudy skies.
Vial believes that this year’s parade crowd could be among the biggest ever. Not only have residents been waiting to catch Luling throws for two years, but last weekend’s Super Bowl has amped up the excitement.
"The weather has been pretty nice lately and there is a lot of excitement in the area this year with Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl," she said. "Everyone is really upbeat and looking to have a good time. I think it’s going to be a huge crowd and a fun-filled day for families."
For the third year in a row, Bill and Edie Sirmon will serve as king and queen of Krewe of Lul, while Glynn Boyd will be the grand marshal.
There will be 25 floats in the parade, with individual groups creating their own. The themes are kept under wraps until the floats roll through.
Most of the marching groups and dance troupes that were scheduled to perform last year will return this year, including the Hahnville High School band. They will be joined by festival queens from around the area. Horseback riding groups and several fire departments will also be tossing beads into the crowd. There are 60 total units rolling in the parade, including a covered wagon, which is a parade first.
Vial said that St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne is planning a surprise and will be rolling in a "nice ride" this year. Another returning favorite, the Mr. Peanut and the Peanut Butter Float, will collect jars of peanut butter for the Social Concerns Food Bank.
There will be several special throws this year including the king and queen scrolls from 2011. Vial said those scrolls will be a collector’s item because they cover three years of parades. Local artist Peyton Dufrene also designed a 35th anniversary scroll for last year’s 35th anniversary of the Krewe of Lul. The scrolls will be thrown from several floats this year.
"The commemorative scroll depicts the parade route in the background with several local landmarks indicated with a fleur de lis and includes the names of all the kings, queens and grand marshals who have reigned in the Krewe of Lul for the past 35 years," Vial said.
Vial said the parade’s recent cancellation has had little effect on participants.
"Almost everyone has rolled their money to this year. Half of the parade is families and work groups that have floats that ride with us every year" she said. "Everyone is staying positive."
For the parade route, see page 3B.