After a harrowing year along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, one community banded together to raise the spirits of Golden Meadow, Louisiana, and they are accomplishing this by forming an impromptu Mardi Gras Krewe, according to HoumaToday.
The Krewe des Couyons, which is made up of residents from Golden Meadow, aimed to make up for both the 30 canceled Mardi Gras parades in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and those canceled thanks to damage sustained by Hurricane Ida.
They set out to “make things right” with a call to arms so to speak. Krewe leader Kyle Williams organized a convoy of roughly a couple dozen homemade parade floats with about 150 operating them and participating in the festivities. To say that The Krewe des Couyons floats are clearly crafted by a community that had gone a year without Mardi Gras would be an understatement.
As per the Golden Meadow Krewe des Couyons Facebook page, which invited the public to join in the festivities this year, the “newly-founded” Mardi Gras club set out early on with self-awareness. They posted that their krewe will be riding in “homemade floats, golf carts, side-by-sides, and just about anything else you can imagine.” That succinct, yet poignant description emits the exact type of positive spirit needed in South Louisiana after the past few years.
After Hurricane Ida, the Category 4 storm that swept across the Gulf Coast but first came ashore at Port Fourchon on August 29, 2021, many traditional Mardi Gras Krewes found that their floats were damaged or destroyed along with countless homes and businesses. Not only did this cause mountains of dismay for the residents and their families, but citizens of Lafourche Parish knew that they wouldn’t be able to relieve some stress with a traditional Mardi Gras celebration some six months following the storm. That’s just when Krewe Organizer Kyle Williams went to work.
Williams said, “with COVID last year and now Ida this year, canceling again is not an option. Our community needs a pick-me-up to get their minds off of Ida damage. We need to take steps toward getting back to normal. We’re making our own floats. We’re riding in the backs of trucks, and we’re just making do with what we got.”
On Fat Tuesday, the day of Mardi Gras, The Krewe des Couyons floats will make their way down La. 1 at noon in float types ranging from golf carts to tractors. They will pass through Golden Meadow on a route that would traditionally be traveled by the Krewes of Neptune and Nereid in a normal year.
This year, however, several parades were canceled across Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes due to sustained damages from Hurricane Ida. Parades that would traditionally run in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes but had to cancel were Athena, Des Petite Lions, Nereids, and Neptune in Golden Meadow; Des T. Cajuns and Bon Temps in Larose; and Tee Caillou in Chauvin.
A Spokeswoman for La Krewe du Bon Temps in Larose, Corine Berthelot, remarked on both the sadness at having to cancel parade-going this Festival season and the hope for parades to return in 2023. She told HoumaToday, “this year, there’s so much devastation here that there’s no way that anybody’s going to be able to ride. We’re just going to pray and keep our fingers crossed that the following year we can ride.”
What came as a result of the new Golden Meadow Krewe’s immaculate planning and a bruised community banding together will be a parade maybe not quite as grand and large-scale as it has been in previous years, but one that will perhaps be more meaningful and symbolic than those that came before it.
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