PLAQUEMINE — The city is planning its first nighttime Mardi Gras parade next year “to offer the same thing other large cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans have,” organizers said Monday.
The event is being organized as a tribute to Iberville Parish native Brenda Comeaux, a Mardi Gras enthusiast who died of cancer several years ago.
Her dream was for Plaquemine to have a nighttime parade, family members said.
Local businessman Chris Daigle, president of the Krewe of Comogo, recently told parish officials that his krewe’s inaugural parade will have at least 10 floats he hopes will feature several Mardi Gras krewes from the parish.
The Krewe of Comogo parade will take place on Feb. 11 and will travel the same route as the parade for the annual KC International Acadian Festival, according to Daigle, who owns Deja Vu Daiquiris & Tobacco in Plaquemine and Daigle Supermarket in White Castle.
The inaugural parade will end at the Civic Center, where the krewe will host its gala, Daigle said.
“The main reason we decided to go with a nighttime parade was to offer the same thing other large cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans have,” Daigle said. “It’s going to be different than your regular, traditional parade. We have around three major krewes in Plaquemine now and we thought, why not have a krewe get involved and have a float in our parade too?”
Plaquemine Mardi Gras krewes traditionally have only hosted annual galas, not parades, he said.
The Krewe of Comogo was founded in Comeaux’s honor in 2011, Daigle said.
Comeaux died from cancer at the age of 54 on Aug. 23, 2009, family members said.
Comeaux’s three brothers and her nephew serve on the krewe’s board of directors.
Ralph Comeaux said it was always his sister’s dream to start a nighttime parade in Plaquemine.
For most of her life, Brenda Comeaux enjoyed designing elaborate Mardi Gras costumes and transforming vintage hats into dramatic headpieces, her brother said.
His sister designed a host of hats for women attending the annual Kentucky Derby, Comeaux said.
“Mardi Gras was her favorite thing, I don’t know why,” Comeaux said. “She was a stylish person. We’re really trying to get this going for her.”
Krewe members enjoyed their inaugural gala last year, Daigle said, but delayed plans to organize a parade so that they could increase membership.
The Krewe of Comogo has approximately 50 members, he said, with a capacity for about 100 more.
Comeaux and Daigle said they hope to increase membership leading up to the inaugural parade with the intention of increasing float participation.
Daigle said he has received commitments from several local businesses interested in procuring a float.
“The more floats we can get, the longer our parade will be,” Daigle said. “We’re trying to attract as many people as we can, outside the parish, to come and watch.”
The parade should stir up the community, said Sissy Irwin, spokeswoman for the Plaquemine Center of the Iberville Parish Tourist Commission.
“We think this parade will definitely be an asset for us,” Irwin said. “We’re hoping it will grow and people will be excited about it.”
For information on the Krewe of Comogo, visit www.kreweofcomogo.org or join the krewe’s Facebook page.