Rain threatened the parades all day but the 33rd annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade and the Gay Easter Parade benefiting Food for Friends rolled as scheduled. Renowned burlesque dancer and club owner Chris Owens still performs nightly (despite rumors of her being in her 80’s) and hosts a fun, fabulous parade. Both parades offer bands, colorful floats, beads, stuffed animals, candy, seersucker suits, floral dresses and elaborately decorated Easter hats. The Gay Easter Parade has also raised nearly a quarter million for charity over the past 14 years.
Chris Owens’ procession included the Yat Pack, the Krewe of Rolling Elvi, the Nola Showgirls, a confetti canon and the lovely Trixie Minx. Music for the Gay Parade was provided by 3rd Line Brass Band, Pair-A-Dice Tumblers and AUX Colors in Motion among others. I was delighted to spot my Django Unchained costar, carriage driver Willy Pickett in the mix.
My favorite part of Easter in New Orleans is usually taking in all the whimsical hats and wigs but the crowds seemed less prone to wearing theirs in the threatening weather. A few riders had wrapped their bonnets in plastic bags. Even so, it was a festive day celebrating life, renewal and the beauty of Spring.