NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —New Orleans has been ravenous for tourism revenue and revelry for over a year and a half. No parade has made its way down a city street since Mardi Gras 2020.
Despite fall cancellations of postponed festivals, Krewe of Boo will be the first parade to return to the city; heralding in both Halloween and parade culture for New Orleans.
Brian Kern is the Captain of Krewe of Boo and says the honor of being the first parade back is great, along with its responsibility. Every year, tens of thousands of people attend New Orleans’ Halloween festivities.
This year, bassist George Porter Jr. will be the Krewe of Boo king. Dj Mannie Fresh will be the Grand Marshall.
“It feels great. I found out right at the end of September. It doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to put everything together. We’re scrambling right now, but we’re going to have a beautiful parade on the streets with over 400 riders and 30 marching krewes. We have plenty of inspiration. First of all, New Orleans is definitely America’s most haunted city. You can come here any time of the year and visit our cemeteries and take a haunted history tour but people can come here and experience everything haunted and spooky in nature,” says Brian Kern.
Along with the usual spirits of New Orleans’ past, there has been plenty that has haunted the city in terms of disaster. In 2019, the city saw a collapse of the Hard Rock building. In 2020, the pandemic began along with a very busy hurricane season. In 2021, Hurricane Ida arrived at the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
This year, Krewe of Boo rolls on its original parade route.
“Canal street will be open this year. It was closed in 2019 due to the Hard Rock collapse. This will be the first time back on Canal since 2018. Unfortunately this time, we have Hurricane Ida aftermath in the midst of COVID-19. The Pandemic has been the biggest downer to everybody’s spirits. I think we are at a point now where things can get back to normal. All the things that they shut down during the pandemic, that’s why people live here. That’s why we need to get back to what we do best and that is making people enjoy the finer things in life, but we have to be careful. We can’t let our guard down,” says Kern.
It is a serious business to party, as the rest of the world looks on with bated breath towards Mardi Gras 2022. Krewe of Boo is perhaps a conduit for a resurrected Mardi Gras and festival season.
The parade kicks off Saturday at 6:30pm in front of the French Market. The rest of the Krewe of Boo’s festivities begin the day before. For more information click here.