Slidell krewe creating different kind of Mardi Gras parade

Slidell krewe creating different kind of Mardi Gras parade
The Slidell parade, Krewe of Dionysus, will take a page from City Park's playbook this year with a parade staged in a large mall parking lot. (FILE IMAGE) (Source: Mark Smith)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - From virtual celebrations to house floats, we’re seeing this city’s creativity in action with Mardi Gras just weeks away.

Here’s a new one: Have you heard of a reverse parade?

The Krewe of Dionysus in Slidell had a membership meeting Tuesday night to work out some of the details for the parade Feb. 7 that you drive through.

“Mardi Gras brings the world to New Orleans, pretty much, they’re missing a lot,” one resident Joshua Whitmore said.A lot of sacrifice for safety this year and the craving for culture is strong.

”I’m pretty sure you’d have a pretty good turnout believe it or not,” Whitmore said.

The Krewe of Dionysus hasn’t made the news very public yet, but community members seem pleasantly surprised.

“It’ll give people motivation to go do stuff and be out in the community and still be safe,” Jamie Lodas said.

FOX 8 Mardi Gras expert, Arthur Hardy, says the krewe deserves some props for the creativity.

”This is kind of the best of both worlds,” Hardy said. “You get a taste of Mardi Gras but you do it in a safe fashion and I just think it’s a good idea, perhaps some of the krewes may follow.”

The krewe’s treasurer, Andrew Frisard, says they got the idea from Celebration in the Oaks.

”We all individually took our families to drive through and see what it was like and we said this ain’t what we remember, but it’s still pretty cool.” Frisard said.

The krewe will have floats and performances. Local restaurants will be donating beignets, king cake, bread pudding. STARC is providing the throws. It will all be from the safety of your car.

”We’re trying to duplicate sidewalk-side, neutral-ground-side, different events in different groups on the different sides and you have the parade fluid between them,” Frisard said.

Parade-goers will drive down Caruso Boulevard and through the parking lot of this old shopping center.

Proceeds are going towards Hospice House and STARC, which Frisard says is the most important part aside from seeing the joy on children’s faces. He says there’s nothing that could stand in their way.

”Our motto kind of is ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’,” Frisard said. “2005 Katrina hit and we live in South Slidell all of our houses were destroyed.”

Frisard says it was a unanimous decision that year to carry on with a parade. This year is no different. It’s not an easy feat, but one they’re glad to do.

”The challenge is welcome because after 36 years we’ve done the normal stuff, this is kind of fun and interesting,” Frisard said. “Don’t want to do it next year, but it’ll be kind of fun and interesting.”

Keep up with updates on the Krewe of Dionysus Facebook page.

They should finalize participants by the end of the week and they’ll be highlighting them on the page.

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