A MCCA to remember

Published 11:39 am Monday, February 16, 2015

So I’ve just experience my first MCCA, and I have to say it really lived up to the hype.

I was born and raised in the New Orleans metro area, so I’ve seen my fair share of Mardi Gras parades, and generally speaking, when other towns in Louisiana put on their own parades, the results can seem a bit half-hearted. But not this one.

Save for a few of the New Orleans superkrewes, such as Endymion or Bacchus (and maybe Krewe du Vieux, of which I am a member), the Krewe of MCCA put on a show that can hold its own among the fabled carnival organizations of Orleans and Jefferson parishes. What’s more, it eschews much of the stuffiness often associated with some of the older krewes in New Orleans, where riders can often seem bored or more interested in partying with fellow float riders than entertaining the crowd.

My own MCCA experience began last Saturday, when I was lucky enough to attend the Magic City Carnival Association’s annual ball. While the balls for New Orleans krewes may have grander venues than Bogalusa’s American Legion Hall, the spectacle the members of MCCA put on that night rivals the pomp and pageantry of any of its New Orleans counterparts.

Then when it came time for the main event, Mother Nature smiled upon Bogalusa and produced what can only be described as the perfect weather for a parade — bright and sunny and warm enough for short sleeves but not hot by any stretch of the imagination.

As the bands marched and the floats rolled by, it was hard not to be swept up in the overwhelming joy of the event. The close-knit nature of the community was on clear display — even with three times as many out-of-towners than residents within the city limits — as float riders greeted old friends along the way.

It seemed, for at least the hour-and-a-half during which the parade passed, that the strife that can sometimes seem insurmountable in a town with a history such as Bogalusa faded from everyone’s minds.

From my vantage point on Columbia Street, there were nothing but smiles to report.

So I just want to say thank you to the City of Bogalusa for once again showing me — and the rest of the region — the spirit that has carried this city through 100 years and will carry it for hundreds more.

David Vitrano is general manager and managing editor of The Daily News. He can be reached at david.vitrano@thebogalusadailynews.com.