Krewe of Wrecks

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler – The New Orleans Tradition Continues

by:  George Payne 

Images and Story Copyrighted 2003




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what the duck.jpg (32103 bytes)



 In the spirit of New Orleans Mardi Gras, The Krewe of Wrecks just celebrated its 16th annual Mardi Gras Boat Parade.  This lively flotilla of boats made its way down the Tickfaw River throwing beads, doubloons, and candy towards one of the wildest Cajun parities in the city.  Consisting of 60 boats that ranged in size from pirogues (small Cajun canoes) to 50-foot motor yachts, this parade was enjoyed by everyone from 6 months to 106 years old.  The six-mile course wound its way past some of the most scenic swampland in the country.   


boy as girl.jpg (17457 bytes)   Is it a boy or a girl????

All along the parade route, people lined the shoreline catching throws.  At the marina, the crowds numbered in the low thousands.  Where people couldn’t stand on the banks, boats would tie together in small islands to maximize opportunities for catching throws.  To further increase their odds, some people held up signs saying they had come all the way from Australia to witness this event even though the word Australia was misspelled on their signs. Others chose to get attention by wearing skimpy bathing suits.  At times, these bathing suits would fall off, after which the boat would be bombarded by nothing less than the best throws.   


boy in water.jpg (16965 bytes)  I do all this, and you still won't throw me anything!!!


The main event, however, was the boat-decorating contest.  Prizes were awarded based fifty percent on design and fifty percent party attitude.  The wildest boat was that of a 35 foot Drake Mallard.  This float built on the frame of a 35-foot Cigarette Boat, and named “What the Duck” was a major crowd pleaser.  Complete with a 15-foot mallard head and 1000 watt sound system, this boat rocked the bayou.  Additionally, for some unexplainable reason small flocks of mallards followed the entire event.  It was almost as if they had seen the great pumpkin.  The next wildest boat design was a 45 foot motor yacht decorated as a giant alligator.  This float was complete with scales, and of course an inflatable woman in the grasp of this giant creature’s jaws.   Float riders aboard these boats were dressed in a variety of costumes from the normal Mardi themes to the risqué.  The most memorable was the Hillbilly Float.  This Krewe’s attire was red long johns, buckteeth, corncob pipes, and rolls of toilet paper.  This krewe made even the poorest Cajun family feel wealthy. 


crawfish canoe.jpg (20252 bytes)  Cajun at the helm.


After the parade made its way to the final resting spot of Blood River Landing, all the participants were rewarded with Cajun music, food, and dance.  The menu items included the traditional Cajun fare of alligator sauce piquant, boudin balls, and tasty andouille (Cajun) sausage.  After eating, Wayne Toups entertained the crowd with old Cajun-French songs.  People who had never danced before in their lives joined in and two stepped. 



kingwcort.jpg (25890 bytes)  A king and his Court!!

Despite the constant threat of rain, no one’s sprits were ever dampened.  The atmosphere was that of good times, good music, and great food.  As is the local tradition here, “Laisez le bon temp rouler.”  -- Let the good times role.  Without question this parade continued the tradition.


A few more images from a wonderful day!!!


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America's Most Wanted

(Bag in Charlie's hand is loot from bank robbery.)


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And you thought you were alone.



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Over here!!!! Throw me something!!


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No Over here!!!

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No wonder I didn't get any beads.



All Images & Story are copyrighted.  George Payne 2001