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Giving Back: St. John the Baptist Parish parade fans gear up for 3 krewes over March 2 & 3

RESERVE — Some of Frances T. Sullivan’s earliest memories include riding in the back of a pick-up truck through Reserve each Mardi Gras in the Krewe of Tohwahpahsah parade.

Krewe of Tohwahpahsah is the first of three St. John the Baptist Parish parades set to deliver fabulous throws and family fun during the first weekend of March.

Tohwahpahsah was the pride and joy of the late Lawrence “Noonie” Triche, who founded the parade in 1984 to provide a safe and family friendly alternative to the New Orleans Mardi Gras scene.

Frances keeps her father close in spirit as she and board members Nikki Triche LeBouef, Melanie Stein, Lisa Triche and Todd and Lori Warner maintain the Reserve tradition for future generations.

The Krewe of Tohwahpahsah rolls at noon March 2 and makes a loop through Railroad Avenue and River Road, with detours down West Fourth, Annex, West Second and West First streets. Frances expects this year’s parade to include 25 to 30 floats, cars and groups.

Guests are welcome to attend an after party at Airborne Lounge in Reserve.

“I think it’s important because it draws everyone in a small hometown together to enjoy the parade,” Frances said. “My dad loved the idea to bring families of the parish together. It’s something special the kids could enjoy right outside their houses.”

Todd Poirrier, Madisen Amato and Ken LeBlanc (in back) throw out beads during Krewe Du Monde.

The community is welcome to register floats, cars, trucks, antique cars, show vehicles, bands, dance teams and other marching groups by Feb. 23.

Entry is free for marching groups, $25 for cars and $50 for floats, trucks and trailers. For more information, including upcoming fundraisers, contact Krewe of Tohwahpahsah Parade on Facebook.

The fun continues March 3 with back-to-back parades in LaPlace, starting with the well-established Krewe Du Monde rolling at 11 a.m.

According to organizer Lance Bonadona, this year’s parade introduces 10 large-scale floats pulled by tractors and provided by Mc Kinley J. Cantrell & Son Inc. Dance groups, cars and royalty are also featured.

Krewe Du Monde begins at Airline Highway and Main Street in LaPlace and ends at Fairway Drive, meandering through West Fifth Street, Hemlock Drive, Carrollwood Avenue, Greenwood Drive and Madewood Road.

A “Do You Believe in Magic” Carnival ball is open to the public starting at 6 p.m. March 1 at the St. John Parish Community Center on U.S. 51. Tickets are $80 per person, increasing to $95 per person after Feb. 23, and can be purchased at laplacelions.club or at Roussel’s in LaPlace or Gramercy.

Brynlee Bivin enjoys Mardi Gras No. 1 in 2018 during Krewe of Tohwahpahsah.

Bonadona said all proceeds help the LaPlace Lion’s Club provide eye exams and glasses to children in the community, bring summer camp opportunities to disabled children, sponsor the annual Andouille Festival and pageant and perform other community services.

Krewe du Monde royalty are involved in park restorations and have painted St. John Theatre in past years, according to Bonadona.

“We try to get them involved in a service project each year,” Bonadona said.

St. John Parish’s newest Parade, Krewe of Dagé, takes a stand for education.

Paradegoers can look out for signature apple throws starting at noon March 3 as Krewe of Dagé trails Krewe du Monde down the familiar LaPlace route.

Organizers are excited to announce 35 floats will accompany school bands, dance teams, cars, royalty and community groups.

According to organizer Jean Stewart, Krewe of Dagé will award a scholarship to a deserving River Parishes student this May.

Entries are being accepted for a 150-word essay contest for children ages 10 to 13 on the topic “What does Mardi Gras mean to me?” The winner will earn a prime spot on a Krewe of Dagé float.

Stewart said board members hope to volunteer at local schools as the parade expands.