Terreanians Sunday From the Passenger’s Seat
[The following is a first-hand account of a parade ride with a deputy during the Krewe of Terreanians.]
Fueled by music and drink, rather than milk and cookies, Carnival float riders gave gifts and cheer to crowd members both naughty and nice.
During a 6+ hour ride seated in a Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office vehicle, I personally witnessed Houma ignore the normal barriers of everyday life, during the Krewe of Terreanians.
Rounding the bend from Bayou Gardens Blvd. to West Park Ave., the excitement was contagious. Both Capt. Kody Voisin, Assistant Chief of Detectives of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and I smiled and laughed at the joy on display.
Families jumped up and down consumed with happiness over stuffed animals and beads.
Kids scrambled around adult feet grabbing whatever scraps were missed, after which they ran back to their parents to celebrate their plastic treasures.
Houma’s great diversity was on display as people of every age, race, and social status gathered in the revelry and all shared the same look of absolute joy on their faces. It’s amazing what a bit of music and a handful of $0.10 pieces of plastic can do.
During our ride, Voisin’s eyes were always surveying the crowd. He would stop the vehicle at times, as if predicting the movement of the crowd. This was often followed by someone stepping out to grab a stuffed animal or frisbee from the road.
The parade was longer than expected and, at about the 4-and-a-half hour mark, Capt. Voisin’s 22 years of experience working parades revealed itself in his preparation. He had a small ice chest full of Coke Zero and sandwiches to carry himself through the parade.
There was plenty of food on the route. Early in the parade, boiled crawfish was common, and clouds from bar-b-que pits could be seen, and smelled, at various parking lots. Around Morgan St., the smell of fried fish perfumed the air, and in the parking lot a food truck was serving chitterlings and tripe.
Daiquiris were common throughout the 5-mile stretch and often in jumbo jugs. Beer as to be expected was common, but near the turn onto Barrow, people were drinking from pineapples.
All manner of signs and costumes were present.
Signs on display which appeared meant to excite or antagonize throwers. Some announced that it was the holder’s birthday, or that it was their first parade. These signs often had plywood behind them to block the incoming beads. Other contraptions had holes for the throwers to try and land their beads in. Some riders even landed these throws.
One man lacked a shirt and instead wore a massive pink bra; others wore masks such as a large furry panda head whose owner was skateboarding, and another wore a horse head with which he head-banged on the back of a truck.
Representations of political figures such as President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were on display, inciting both laughter and mockery.
A life-size mannequin of the President was standing in the crowd with a red hat that said “Drain the swamp,” and a cardboard cutout of Pelosi’s head: both were equally hit with beads.
Being in the parade, but not part of the parade, granted me a greater appreciation of our community. It’s very easy when constantly writing about crime and politics to expect the worst of people. At this parade, on this day, thousands of people gathered in the streets, and for 6 hours straight and threw a massive party.