Garyville ‘Wheelbarrow Parade’ back

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008


Editor and Publisher

GARYVILLE — Any way you look at it, when LSU plays Tulane in any sport, there are some pretty intense feelings.

And there is nothing different for the people involved in the annual Garyville Wheelbarrow Parade & Festival.

Started approximately 30 years ago, two friends in Garyville who were LSU and Tulane fans, decided to make a bet that the loser of the annual football game between the two teams would have to push the other guy, in a wheelbarrow, through the town of Garyville.

That began a tradition that will be continued this year on Sunday, November 2 as the parade and festival start at the Garyville Firehouse, going down Historic West Street, and finishing by the Garyville Youth Organization facility.

The parade begins at 11 a.m.

The LSU-Tulane football series was interrupted a few years back when the two teams quit playing each other, but two years ago the schools signed a new contract to begin a 10-year series, and immediately, the wheelbarrow rides returned.

Jerry Tamplain, a Tulane fan, originally began the bet with LSU fan Leroy St. Pierre, but now the fun continues with a large group of LSU and Tulane fans, who have turned the friendly wager into a big parade, followed by the festival at the GYO facility.

The parade got so popular in past years that there have been cheerleaders from either school show up, as well as coaches and players.

There will be first and second place awards for the best decorated wheelbarrows.

Tomy Acosta, a local attorney who graduated law school from LSU, finds himself with mixed feelings for the wheelbarrow parade, since he became a Tulane fan when he was just a young boy.

“I was a kid when I was taken to the Tulane-William & Mary game. I had never been to a college game before, but right away, I was a Tulane fan and still am,” he said.

Since LSU has become an annual national title contender in the college football ranks, the winner of the wheelbarrow bet is actually decided on by who beats the point spread in the game, since LSU has been a very large favorite in recent years.

“Last year LSU was a 49 point favorite, but they were only up 10-9 at halftime, so anything can happen,” Acosta remembered.

The parade is put on by a core group of about 10 fans, but anyone is invited to join in the parade. If you are a marching group, LSU or Tulane fans, or anyone else who wants to march in the parade, be at the firehouse by 10:30, Acosta said.

Once the bets are settled and the parade is over, there will be a party at the GYO field, with Off The Hook playing from 11:30 to 3:30, then Typikal Reason playing from 3:30 to 7:30.

There will be lots of food and drinks to purchase, and a mixed cabbage ball tournament will be held this year. To enter the tournament for $100 per team, call Kacie Ramirez at 225-869-8109 or 225-806-6978.