Hemelt: Mardi Gras 2019 was a success

Published 12:01 am Monday, March 11, 2019

If Mardi Gras is the greatest free party on Earth, then my family certainly got its money’s worth in St. John the Baptist Parish.

As Reserve residents, we were able to walk in less than five minutes from our doorstep to the route for March 2’s Krewe of Tohwahpahsah.

While the parade will never be confused with the Bacchus and Endymion krewes in New Orleans, it certainly offered plenty of family friendly fun for my 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son.

My family recognized plenty of riders and attendees and walked home with great beads, new cups and more than our fair share of toys and trinkets.

Organizers stress they are working hard to get more participation from local school groups and need the community’s help participating in annual fundraisers.

These volunteers do an amazing job putting this family event on each year, and our community is better for it.

On March 3, the 46th annual DuMonde parade rolled through LaPlace to the benefit of the Lions Club and thousands of attendees.

With the parade’s launch from Airline Highway and Main Street, L’OBSERVATEUR is blessed to be situated next to the beginning, which means easy parking and bathroom access.

This certainly gives our family and friends a leg up on the fun. Yet, it’s the dedicated group of riders who continue to deliver that make this parade a five-decade success story in our parish.

Thank you DuMonde for another great year.

Finally, the surprise of Mardi Gras 2019 was the tremendous inaugural showing of the Krewe of Dagé.

You can’t do much better than Dagé, which delivered excitement and plenty of throws to paradegoers throughout LaPlace.

I’m not sure how much one person can reasonably expect when attending a free party, but our family was certainly rewarded with tremendous fun, a safe environment and plenty of good will from our new friends.

In fact, a couple from Arizona sat next to us for March 3’s parades. They said they were in St. John visiting their son, who was actually in New Orleans on March 3 attending Bacchus.

The out-of-town couple told us they preferred the laid-back LaPlace environment that didn’t come with the overcrowding and aggressiveness of the big city parades.

I completely agree.

Stephen Hemelt is publisher and editor of L’OBSERVATEUR. He can be reached at 985-652-9545 or stephen.hemelt@lobservateur.com.