Parade organizers seeking float riders


Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:29 p.m.

Houma's Irish-Italian parade is set to roll March 17, but parade organizers said they're in need of more float riders.

“Our parade is looking for members to ride or even captain a float,” said S.P. LaRussa, a Houma real-estate developer who helped conceive the original Irish-Italian parade.

The parade will start at 1 p.m. at West Park Avenue near La Casa Del Sol restaurant, turn onto Hollywood Road, continue down Main Street, turn onto Barrow Street and disband at Town Hall, 805 Barrow St. A post-parade celebration at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center will feature Irish cabbage and Italian sausage dishes.

The member fee to ride is $200 per person. Children accompanied by a guardian can ride for a $100 fee. Riders must purchase their own throws.

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade was a hit for more than a decade on the east side, but it had a 10-year hiatus until it was revived last year on the west side of Houma, LaRussa said.

“We rode for about 12 years in east Houma, and then it fell by the wayside,” he said.

Last year's parade was a big hit, LaRussa said, and he wants to keep it that way.

“Last year the streets were packed,” he said. “We want people to get excited about it.”

Different from Carnival parades, parade-riders throw items that revilers can take home and cook such as cabbages, potatoes, onions, carrots and turnips, as well as the occasional piece of salted meat.

“You are going to catch lots of vegetables so bring your fishing nets and clothes baskets,” said the parade's president Marlene Jewell.

Jewell said organizers have about 15 floats already, which can hold at least 14 people each.

“We can always throw in more floats,” she said. “We want to make this parade as big as Mardi Gras.”

Interested captains or riders should call Jewell at 804-4203 or LaRussa at 872-0444.

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