New Orleans woman, 103, waits on Uptown route to see 80-year-old parading daughter

Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 1:49 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At 103 years old, Mary Muniz has seen more parades than most in her lifetime.

But as she, friends and family prepared to watch the krewes of Iris and Tucks on Saturday (Feb. 18), Muniz said she has no intention of stopping now.

“First, I like seeing the parades, seeing all the people, all the children, the bands. We have it all,” Muniz said.

“I’m still enjoying life. I’m still kicking, but not as high.”

Affectionately known as Nonna, Muniz was on the Uptown New Orleans parade route Saturday to watch her daughter ride with the Krewe of Iris. She also had a grandson riding with the Krewe of Tucks.

“My daughter is 80 years old, so it’s been that many years,” Muniz joked.

“In fact, I have a little nephew who’s in Catholic school, 6 years old. He knows how old I am. So he told his mother the other day, ‘You know Mama, God is oldest and then Nanny.’ That’s me.”

Leighton Cheramie isn’t related to Muniz, but has been part of the group that gathers with her on the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground for years.

“She is everyone’s Nonna. She is awesome,” Cheramie said.

Loved ones even made shirts one year with some of their favorite Nonna quotes, including:

  • “Don’t put that on Facelift!”
  • “Come see me! I’m running out of time!”
  • “I love you with all my heart, and a piece of my liver!”

Cheramie said Muniz makes everyone feel like family.

“She is like Mardi Gras. She is the queen,” Cheramie said. “She is what is good in life.”

Muniz said that after more than a century, her love for New Orleans and Mardi Gras hasn’t faded one bit, and she still plans to get the most out of life.

“We have the food. We have the people, who are just fantastic. And I’m still enjoying it all,” the centenarian said. “That’s why I’m still hanging around.”

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