Rainy forecast doesn’t dampen MCCA spirit

Published 2:33 am Monday, February 12, 2018

MCCA Captain Don Spiers credited “esprit de corps” for MCCA’s “amazing” ride on Saturday.

“Last week, we constantly watched the TV,” he said. “Weather reporters were explaining why we should maintain an 80 percent to a 100 percent expectation of heavy rain, and a fine chance of damaging winds and thunderstorms for Saturday’s Magic City Carnival Parade in Bogalusa. So, we threw up a few temporary tops on some of our floats. We stuck some ponchos in our bead bags. What we never did was to talk about any possibility of our not having our 38th parade.

“Parading is what we do. We prepare for it, we have great festive gatherings each weekend for two months preceding it, where we show off our costuming and respect for our King and Queen and our royal court to the krewes’ float groups and their guests. Then, we sparkle up 40 or so huge and beautiful Carnival floats, hook them up to 40 tractors, and we undertake to entertain the community that we love with a world-class Carnival parade including a world-class bounty of Carnival throws and gifts.

“As it happened last Saturday, we made our 3.3-mile presentation with no measureable rain and near-negligible misting, despite the weather-folks’ prognostications. We would prefer a bright and sunny parade day, and thankfully, we have had 34 of them out of our 38 starts.

“We did not have our usual 50,000 people in the crowd, but probably 25,000. That’s a lot of smiling and laughing and pointing and catching. It is what we do, so we do it, and pride ourselves in doing it in great fashion.”

Spiers said that the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines esprit de corps as “the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group,” and noted that the MCCA participants had that quality in abundance.

The Magic City Carnival Association is an amazing ‘outfit,’” he said. “It glows with esprit de corps. I am privileged to be a part of it.”

Spiers said that there were a few minor alterations made to the parade, in order to adjust for the forecast threatening weather.

“We added some makeshift coverings to several floats — particularly those having kids on them,” he said. “We jumped out of our starting blocks about 10 minutes early, and we tried we tried to travel 1.5 miles per hour instead of our traditional one mile per hour. Our parade Trail Boss Bill McGehee is a parade genius.

“We never once got rained on. Twice it seemed to try, then fizzled out with just a couple moments of sprinkling. The crowd of parade-going spectators was about half the size that in last year’s sunshine, but it was several thousands of people, and they were enthusiastic and having a great time.

“Our King and Queen never whimpered a complaint — they were gorgeous, and they exhibited the same parade enthusiasm that they have glistened with all season.”