Bogalusa’s population quadruples for parade

Published 8:54 am Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Interest in Magic City Carnival Association’s XXXV parade is at an unprecedented fever pitch.

Better known as MCCA, Captain Don Spiers said proof of that interest is the amount the orange and yellow tape lining the parade route by people securing their viewing spot.

“That is a common thing, but this is the earliest they’ve ever done it,” Spiers said with a chuckle Monday afternoon. “They’ve been doing that for three weeks now. They usually do all that about 10 days in advance of the parade, but not this year.”

MCCA XXXV rolls through the streets of Bogalusa Saturday. It will include 38 floats. Spiers said 12 bands have been hired to participate, including Southern University’s “Human Jukebox.”

MCCA XXXV begins at 1 p.m. on Sixth Street on the 3.3-mile route. It rolls down Columbia Street, to Richmond Street and turns onto Georgia Avenue. It proceeds down Austin Street to Superior Avenue, down Cumberland Street, Willis Avenue and Avenue F and ends at West Eighth Street.

Spiers said every year paradegoes set up and make a party happen.

“They’ll bring a trailer in and get set up way ahead of the parade. They’ll have a family barbecue on Friday and make a two-day event out of it. That is just typical. Saturday is parade day, but they’re frying fish and having picnics while waiting for the parade. They’ll eat during and after the parade.” Spiers said.

Spiers said Bogalusa has made its mark as far as Mardi Gras is concerned. He said he expects around 60,000 spectators along the parade route

“We’re the only city in the world that quadruples its population on parade day,” Spiers said. “We’re the seventh-largest parade in the state. We’re exceeded only by six parades in New Orleans. New Orleans has about 600,000 in population? If New Orleans quadrupled its population during Mardi Gras, its population would be in the millions.”

New Orleans’ “superkrewes” include Endymion, Bacchus, Rex, Orpheus, Toth and Zulu.

Spiers said the recent Coronation Ball was outstanding.

“The Coronation Ball was absolutely fabulous,” Spiers said. “It was probably the biggest and best Coronation Ball, even after 35 years.”

MCCA XXXV Royalty are King Richard Jenkins and Queen Deni Talley Black.

“Interest in MCCA XXXV this year has just been amazing,” Spiers said. “We have an outstanding King and Queen. They have set a pace and lit everybody up.”

Spiers said he is ready for the excitement.

“It’s the most fun day of the year. That is illustrated by the enjoyment of the crowd. They’re always out there,” Spiers said.