Locals enjoy pair of parades

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Du Monde brings party to the streets

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – Blaring sirens. Pounding bass drums. Squealing children. These are the sounds of Mardi Gras, and they filled the streets of LaPlace Sunday as Krewe du Monde rolled for the 37th time.

The rains of Saturday gave way to clear, blue skies and pleasant temperatures, drawing large crowds for the festivities, which were as much about spending time with family and friends as catching beads and trinkets.

The parade, put on by the LaPlace Lions Club, has become a tradition with locals, and the route was dotted with barbeque pits and soundsystems. Some parties, such as the one hosted by Destiny Christian Center, were elaborate affairs with professional DJs and spacewalks for the children.

Those participating in the parade seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the spectators. The krewe’s ball, held Saturday night at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, celebrated homecoming, and there were more than a few riders still in the cheerleading mood as they tossed bunches of stuffed footballs to the eager crowd.

The numerous dance organizations and marching bands likewise seemed to feed off the crowd’s energy, putting their all into their performances and completing the Carnival mood.

It was a mood that would last well after the last float rolled by, as the families and friends that gathered for the parade lingered along the route to enjoy the real treasure of the River Parishes — the people who live there.

Rain doesn’t stop Reserve faithful

By Nyla Smith


RESERVE – Local residents attended the Krewe of Towahpasah truck parade Saturday in Reserve despite heavy rains and dark clouds.

The annual event consisted of about 15 trucks and floats with riders throwing beads, stuffed animals, cups and other throws from the tailgate of pickup trucks or floats constructed of wood, paint and festive colored streamers. Some participants also rode three-wheeled vehicles in the parade.

Founder and parade coordinator, Lawrence Triche, said the weather was a factor in this year’s parade attendance and the number of people who participated in the event.

“There were definitely more people riding in the parade last year, and most people were out cooking in their garages rather than alongside the road,” said Triche.

He also said the weather was the reason the parade started two hours earlier than scheduled. The original start time was 1 p.m.

Despite the downpour, parade-goers Jennifer Catoire of Garyville and her family stood on the parade route near Saint Peter’s Church on River Road with umbrellas to protect them from the rain. Catoire said she’s been attending the parade all her life, and despite the weather she and her family wanted to attend.

“We came out in the rain because the children enjoy it,” said Catoire.

According to Triche, the Krewe of Towahpasah began almost 30 years ago. He said he started the event so Reserve could have its own parade.

Samantha Turner of Atlanta has been around for many years of the parade’s history. She recently moved to Georgia, but returned home for the festive holiday.

“I returned home to visit and celebrate Mardi Gras with my family,” said Turner.

The Laplace Volunteer Fire Department and the St. John Parish Police Department also participated in the event.