Preparing for the 37th annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade

Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The bittersweet preparations begin for the 37th annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade, just one week after the city lost the undeniable icon.

“I love all of it, from the start to finish,” Chris Owens once said in a Fox 8 interview.

“She’s truly was a hands on person,” longtime publicist and business manager, Kitsy Adams said. “When you have somebody like a Chris Owens that gets into it and you know, I say all the time that the ‘O’ in Owens, anything worth doing is worth overdoing and that’s just how she was, that’s how she lived life, bigger than life.”

It’s the first time in 37 years the effervescent entertainer will not be at the helm, but Adams says she’s definitely still with her as the preparations begin.

“She’s smiling down upon us, so it’s all going very smoothly, unbelievably, very overwhelmed, but very smoothly, thank God,” Adams said.

It’s meaningful for Adams to make this year memorable for not just her client of 36 years, but best friend.

“She has doves in her own courtyard and doves were just very special to her, so on her float, when we get ready to roll at one o’clock, we are going to have a prayer and we’re going to have a moment of silence and then we’re going to release doves,” Adams said.

Adams says there will be a mixture of laughter and tears.

“The morning before she passed away, she was prancing with that hat and those beautiful shoes and practicing,” Adams said.

Knowing how much this tradition meant to the Queen of Bourbon Street.

“You know what I really enjoy about it, they have the children all dressed in Easter finery and the adults and everything and we throw little fuzzy bunnies out to them and it’s the way they receive everything. It’s just wonderful,” Owens said in a past interview.

“It was very special to her to handpick about 300 stuffed animals and with children in mind and it was all about a family day,” Adams said. “That mind was just always going. She had a theme and in her own mind and she was creating constantly, she was that visionary.”

Also, knowing how much this means to New Orleanians across all generations.

“She was just really nice,” 9-year-old Lily Hargrove said at Owens’ vigil last week. “I brought out two stuffed animals she had gave me. It was fun it was just about Easter and I loved it.”

“We’re going to get through the 37th and then we’re going to start on the 38th, the tradition will go on,” Adams said.

So, Owens’ indelible legacy will illuminate the Quarter forever.

“She truly treasured the city,” Adams said, teary-eyed.

The parade starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the corner of St. Louis and Royal in front of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel after the brunch and hat contest at 11 a.m.

After the parade loops back, there will be more festivities and a silent auction at 2:30 p.m.

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