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Krewe du Monde celebrates 25th year of carnival

By Susan Steward / L’Observateur / January 19, 1998

LAPLACE – Krewe du Monde celebrated its silver anniversary Saturday,recognizing 25 years of kings, with a social at Bull’s Corner.

Krewe du Monde means crew of the people. Ron Landry, state senator andcaptain for the krewe’s first two years, said the group got it’s namethrough a contest and Sister Germaine at St. Joan of Arc School came upwith it.

“They had a bunch of names and we selected that one,” he said.

Mardi Gras’ history in the LaPlace starts with the Krewe of Allovus, arecreation group which kicked off Mardi Gras season in LaPlace for 10years. When that group relinquished it, the Jaycees took over, and thenstepped in Krewe du Monde, which has been hosting parades and balls for anumber of years.

Landry said when the group first started, they tried to find people who haddone things in the community, “so we could give them recognition,” hesaid.

Twenty-five years ago, when Krewe du Monde first started with theJaycees, Landry was captain. He said among the responsibilities of thecaptain at that time were to design a crest, design and get doubloonsmade, arrange for the parade, build the float, arrange for the kings balland find costumes for the king and queen.

“I was a one-man show,” Landry laughed.

Landry said he even remembers gluing stones on costumes and otherparade paraphernalia as part of the costumes he and some of the othermembers of the group made.

“I remember at one of the early parades we got ready to pull off, and Irealized I didn’t have my beard, so I had to send a deputy home to get mybeard,” he recalled.

As far as the floats go, many are handmade because some participants optto build their own. Others are rented.

Sixteenth king Delton Arceneaux said doubloons and throws can get quiteexpensive.

“It costs several hundred dollars to throw things away,” he said. “It’s notcheap.”

Arceneaux noted the most significant thing about Krewe du Monde’s yearlyactivities is that it keeps the Mardi Gras tradition alive in the RiverParishes.

“It recognizes the kings and dukes, of whom are professional leaders inthe community,” he said.

Arceneaux said Mardi Gras is certainly alive in a big area like NewOrleans, but to keep it alive in a small area like LaPlace is “reallysomething great.”

“It helps to bring the local community together,” he added.

Local people get ready several days in advance by blocking off theirdriveways and streets. The parade begins at the Belle Terre subdivisionand rolls down Airline Highway.

Twenty-first king Bill Birner said every year the Krewe gets together fora special dinner. He noted that the Saturday night affair was the first todraw as many kings. In all, 15 showed up.

Former captain Don Mince said he has experienced a great sense ofhumanitarianism as a participant in the organization.

“I know I give freely of my time; it’s a great thing,” he told the group. Aside from that, Mince said the organization started with a very smallcrew and has grown to hundreds and attracted thousands of people whomarch in the parade.

“We help boost the local economy by getting folks out, and in turn theypatronize local businesses,” he said.

Mince also noted that many marchers in the parade are from the local highschools and surrounding organizations.

“This gives everyone a chance to come out and display talent and gettogether as a community,” Mince said.

Krewe du Monde’s parade will roll through LaPlace Feb. 22.

The group is looking for pictures from years one, two and three. If you oranyone you know has any, contact Don Mince at 651-6000.

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