Parades ready to roll in St. John this weekend in LaPlace and Reserve

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – St. John Parish gets into the Mardi Gras spirit with two carnival krewes set to parade down parish streets this weekend.

The festivities kick off Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Krewe of Tohwahpahsah takes to the streets of Reserve.

The parade was formed in 1983 by a group of friends who frequented Tohwahpahsah Lounge, and always talked about decorating trucks, trailers and four wheelers to parade from the bar to the church. Organizers say the parade has grown into a large family oriented parade, and anyone who acquires a permit is allowed to participate.

The parade has no specific theme, and the floats can be decorated in whatever fashion the owner desires, so long as it is kept in the spirit of Mardi Gras.

Lawrence Triche, one of the parade’s organizers, said last year’s parade fielded about 80 participating vehicles of all shapes and sizes, with most consisting of large trucks and trailers.

“There are no fancy floats in Tohwahpahsah,” said Lawrence’s daughter and fellow organizer

Lisa Triche. “Neighbors sit out on each other’s lawns to socialize and enjoy the parade. It is very family-friendly, and not like any of the more popular parades.”

The parade lines up at the Reserve Recreation Center on Railroad Avenue. It proceeds down Railroad Avenue, takes a left on NW 4th Street, a right on Jackie Street, a left on Annex back to Railroad Avenue.

The parade crosses the tracks at W. 2nd Street, and travels to River Road, where it crosses back at W. 1st St. The procession then rolls to Central Avenue, and back down to River Road, where it backtracks all the way to W. 8th Street.

The last leg of the parade takes it down Godchaux, past the St. John Library, finally wrapping up back where it started.

Also this weekend, the Krewe Du Monde rolls in Laplace on Sunday. The theme for the 33rd annual parade is “Du Monde Goes to the Movies.”

The krewe of 600 strong will ride 34 floats, which are either rented or built by participants. Parade organizer Don Mince said although most of the floats will stick to the movie theme, participants have been known to decorate as they see fit.

“There are no specifics to decoration,” said Mince. “I know for certain that we will have a few that are LSU related, but a lot will stick with the movies.”

The parade rolls at noon, and begins at Highway 51 near Airline Highway, takes a right on W. 5th Street, then a right on Hemlock into the subdivision at Carrolwood Drive. The parade concludes at Fairway and Belle Terre Boulevards.

In addition to the floats, bands from East St. John and West St. John High Schools, and 10 other marching groups and dance teams, will join the parade.

Du Monde was formed in 1974 by former Sen. Ron Landry. It is a program of the LaPlace Lions Club.