It’s been over a year and a half since New Orleans hosted a big parade with floats – since Carnival 2020 – so the crowds were out in droves for Brian Kern’s Krewe of Boo Halloween parade. Meters’ bassist George Porter, Jr. served as King, and the Grand Marshal was rapper, producer, DJ Mannie Fresh. I dance with The Pussyfooters, a non-profit body-positive group of over 100 women over-30 in pink corsets, so my only chance to see all the floats and attractions is during the lineup. The floats park and dance troupes, school bands, and fun groups like the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi form groups between them.
Giant Clydesdales pulling a vintage fire truck, complete with a Dalmatian, led the parade followed by fully vaccinated/tested dance krewes like the 610 Stompers, Mande Milkshakers, NOLA Cherry Bombs, Sassyracs, Crescent City Fae, Muff-A-Lottas, Amelia Earhawts, Femme Fatales, and of course, The Pussyfooters.
Despite the pandemic, The Pussyfooters managed to bring in over 25 new Kittens and about a dozen new Handlers and train them up in time for their debut at Boo. Apparently, our group was 67 dancers strong – which must be a new record for us for a single parade. I’ve talked about how joyful it can be to dance in a parade. After 19 months of mostly staying home, I absolutely NEEDED to be part of that joy wheel – giving and receiving smiles and laughter. I especially loved all of the children in adorable costumes lining the route.
COVID has been rough on so many of us. Many businesses and entire industries shut down, our loved ones got sick, many died. It’s been awful. New Orleans traditionally uses funerals as a time to not only mourn, but to celebrate the life of someone who’s passed. Having lived with the losses of regular life, the pandemic and Hurricane Ida, we’ve needed to celebrate something. Anything. Halloween was a perfect excuse for the city to throw on a wig and pass a good time.