The Krewe of Boo parade gets bigger and better every year. “Chief Spookster” Brian Kern adds a “greener” point of view to his family legacy with locally-made throws and food items like Pralinettes from Aunt Sally’s, Chee Wees from Elmer’s Fine Foods and PJ’s Coffee packs. This year’s parade featured king Morten Andersen, legendary kicker for the Saints, and queen Trixie Minx, local burlesque diva. Their floats led a procession of 14 separated by brass bands like Soul Brass Band, marching bands from local schools like Renew Cultural Academy and 30 carnival marching groups including Tap Dat, Camel Toe Lady Steppers, Sirens, Krewe Des Fleurs, Skinz’n’Bonez and the Pussyfooters!
This was my fourth year dancing with the Pussyfooters in the Halloween parade. For parade groups, it’s often the first parade for their new members. We call our newbies “Kittens” and this was my first year getting to dance alongside a Kitten I brought into the organization, Monica Anderson of Cakes & Desserts by Monica. Much of our pre-parade time was spent spraying glitter on each other and getting corsets properly laced. I walked a bit to take in all the elaborate costumes and decorated floats but one of the drawbacks of being in a parade is you don’t really get to see everything in the parade.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like to see New Orleans from the inside of a parade. For Boo, lots of people in the crowd dress up. I especially love the children in costumes, covered in beads and waving tiny hands. Some of the adult costumes are hilarious and some are as elaborately made as those parading past. I love dancing past historic buildings in the French Quarter packed with tourists. I love seeing familiar faces, sometimes jumping out of line to get a hug. I love strutting down palm-tree-lined Canal Street and knowing I’m carrying on a tradition and doing my part in a city celebration.
When you watch a parade, you visit with friends and neighbors with a beverage in your hand as your city’s big show goes by. You catch beads, dance to passing bands and stereos and have an amazing time. When you’re in the parade, you spend sometimes years trying to get into the organization of your choice, months preparing to parade and hours providing the rolling party – and have an amazing time.
We have a lot of parades in New Orleans but Brian Kern’s spooktacular Krewe of Boo parade stands out as an excellent kick-off to the season. Fun for all ages, the perfect weather brought what seemed to be our biggest crowds yet. Enjoy the photos from before the parade!