Ready to see what the fuss is all about

Published 9:22 am Friday, February 13, 2015

The Magic City Carnival Association parade takes to the streets of Bogalusa on Saturday. I believe I am more than ready to see what it is all about.

This will be my first experience taking in a Bogalusa Mardi Gras parade. From what I have been told repeatedly by folks more versed in the annual Washington Parish ritual, I am definitely in for a treat.

I suppose the significance of the occasion had yet to dawn on me until earlier this week. I kept seeing all the orange and yellow tape beside the roads and couldn’t figure out the reasoning for it all. I had no idea folks were marking off their viewing spots well over two weeks in advance.

The more I wrote regarding the MCCA XXXV parade and the organization itself, the more everything came together for a better understanding for what is involved.

A chat with MCCA Captain Don Spiers quickly let me know how folks in southeast Louisiana — particularly Washington Parish — feel about their parade. He said he expected approximately 60,000 people to line the parade route. That quadruples Bogalusa’s entire population of 13,000.

“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.”

That is saying something.

The number of flatbed trailers that lined the parade route so early in the week was an indication of the popularity of the party to come. I can’t imagine what the route will look later on today. Or maybe Saturday morning before the parade starts rolling at 1 p.m., down Sixth Street. The parade will include 38 floats and approximately 12 marching bands, including Southern University’s “Human Jukebox.” The band in itself is a sight to behold.

Construction of the viewing stand got started on Wednesday. The viewing stand has a new home near the parking lot of Best Buy Autoplex on Cumberland Street, across from Zesto Drive-In. Plans called for an entirely new design and entrance. Tickets sold out for the venue long ago.

If you’re going to have a party, every detail has to be just so. Maybe attention to detail is why MCCA is so popular. That is my guess.

Be sure and toss me something if you see me along the route.

Randy Hammons is a Daily News staff writer. He can be contacted by phone at 985-732-2565 or by email at